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PR of War

Reader comment on item: Op Eds Now More Central in War than Bullets

Submitted by Lloyd Trufelman (United States), Oct 20, 2006 at 14:00

Yes, since over the long run, ideas can be more potent than weapons, a coordinated long-term public relations based program is crucial for reaching both domestic and international audiences in the "war on terror" and actually changing attitudes and perceptions. Following a number of failed efforts at public diplomacy by the administration, the U.S. should look to World War I's U.S. Committee on Public Information as a model.

Created by Woodrow Wilson, its mission was to communicate wartime objectives and safety messages domestically while publicizing American goals overseas. A similar effort – the Office of War Information – was implemented during World War II. Both functioned well enough within the structure of a democratic society and the First Amendment. Resurrecting the recently eviscerated U.S. Information Agency could be a place to start.


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