GLOBAL COMMUNICATIONS CAMPAIGNS — A summary

CLASS 1 — GLOBAL COMMUNICATIONS CAMPAIGNS: THE FUNDAMENTALS

Basic idea: One time (global) news is not a campaign. Two news may get you thinking, three is a confirmation: a campaign is on the roll. Someone is trying to influence world hearts and minds for the positive or for the negative, to secure action or inaction as regards a specific issue, support or condemn a cause. Learn to identify the fundamentals of global campaigning: the use of global information channels, the crafting of a message (subsequently on repeat mode), a main communicator or a coalition of communications, the combination of offline and online. Zeitgeist, the spirit of our age, is also important, and from this standpoint, we live the age of great power competition, which influences global campaigning.

Useful links for exam:

How to develop a global communications campaign? https://www.cbsnews.com/news/developing-a-communications-campaign/?fbclid=IwAR1a1RUYd4gOqvrS_Opu3AVc3zXHVVcXrULQl9FZTMoKAE95efsBTtEYbzk

Great Power Competition in SouthEast Europe https://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/new-atlanticist/great-power-competition-in-southeast-europe/?fbclid=IwAR1gBdpbwjBRodbzktEH_nfrWj1nEfC1dgElyGVr4yQ0LDW9wgHWGlXqyRA

Global audience as measurement of impact, influencing the channel of choice https://www.bbc.co.uk/mediacentre/latestnews/2019/bbc-international-audience-record-high?fbclid=IwAR2nh_c16JfEgAhzZbHef4klBPLyytqB0heUuParFI8KuaSaj_fA40qiNXw

CLASS 2 — GLOBAL COMMUNICATIONS ECOSYSTEM

Basic idea: The world has a variety of (eco)systems, interacting, at a political, security, economic levels etc. The global communications system is also an ecosystem, with a series of players, ranging from States, international and regional organisations, multinational economic players (corporate or state owned) and global civil society. All these players interact and they try to influence the global agenda: there is an big competition among them on what topics make news and which one don’t, which issue becomes a priority and subsequent focus of global citizen attention. Sometimes there is a major buzz around a top event, like Davos, sometimes the media attention is caught by an outlier player with a strong topic, like Greta as self-proclaimed brand ambassador for climate change/ emergency. Crisis is also an opportunity, if not a must, for global communications, like the Iran case shows.

Useful links for exam:

Davos Insider: 6 Themes for the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2020 https://www.ketchum.com/davos-insider-6-themes-for-the-world-economic-forum-annual-meeting-wef-2020/

Time 2019 Person of the Year — Greta Thunberg https://time.com/person-of-the-year-2019-greta-thunberg/?#

The Dangers Posed by the Killing of Qassem Suleimani https://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/the-dangers-posed-by-the-killing-of-qassem-suleimani

CLASS 3 — STATE COMMUNICATIONS IN THE GLOBAL ARENA

Basic idea: States are the main official players in the global arena. Some of them are vocal, some are discrete, some know PR, some fear crisis communications, some are active, some are reactive. Some states build their own in house global capabilities, some prefer to externalize PR efforts and strategic communications. States collaborate but also compete, and when interests seriously diverge, there is also a clash of communications. Image, influence and impact are the 3Is that drive States in their global communications. Their communications strategy, like any other strategy, aligns ends, ways and means.

Useful links for exam:

Qatar, UAE spend heavily on lobbyists amid a war of words https://apnews.com/b2d5003280e343a88985d784e9060586?fbclid=IwAR2Pz-GrGqqQujkTI5cV1mtDEkiSAnNjsoB3WQaHDSyNP-mfCJy9u1L8CZs

Incredible India https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incredible_India

„GERMANY WORKS.“ — AN UMBRELLA CAMPAIGN FOR THE BUSINESS LOCATION GERMANY https://handelskammer.blog/germany-works-eine-dachkampagne-fuer-den-wirtschaftsstandort-deutschland/?lang=no

CLASS 4 — INTERNATIONAL AND REGIONAL ORGANISATIONS COMMUNICATIONS

Basic idea: International and Regional Organizations are also part of a global competition for hearts and minds, either to justify their continued existence, their funding or their impact. Their “boring” communications, are periodically disrupted by charm offensives, to prove their relevance in a changing world. Established organisations, including niche ones (for example, economic ones), are starting to feel competition from the developing world: if 10–20 years ago, the World Bank was king/ queen, now the Asian Infrastructure and Investment Bank (AIIB) is making both the WB and regional counterparts like EIB, EBRD, AFDB and ADB feel nervous in face of the new finance waves.

Useful links for exam:

NATO turns 70 with charm offensive to woo Trump https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/opinion/nato-turns-70-with-charm-offensive-to-woo-trump?fbclid=IwAR2WPgIQ2SpkovSWaH3mnROLfoMffDwrZkAJa0V4rfd0RdY7ruRjEryDDdM

UN Department of Global Communications https://www.un.org/en/sections/departments/department-global-communications/index.html

Multilateral Development Bank (MDB) https://www.investopedia.com/terms/m/multilateral_development_bank.asp

CLASS 5 — MULTINATIONAL CORPORATIONS’ STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS

Basic idea: Multinational corporations (MNCs) are some of the most influential global players. Their influence and impact is considered sometimes higher that the one waged by States. While most of them are discrete, as much as possible under the radar operators, MNCs periodically make a stand and communicate strategically, whether to position themselves more clearly in terms of niche services and products at a global level, or to launch a charm offensive — via CSR (corporate social responsibility) initiatives - either in a preventive matter, or after a crisis.

Useful links for exam:

BP: A Textbook Example Of How Not To Handle PR https://www.npr.org/2011/04/21/135575238/bp-a-textbook-example-of-how-not-to-handle-pr

Vincent Bolloré, French Billionaire, Faces a Rare Corruption Inquiry https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/25/business/vincent-bollore-french-billionaire-corruption-inquiry.html + Vivendi Slides After Reports Vincent Bollore Questioned in Corruption Probe https://www.thestreet.com/markets/vivendi-slides-after-reports-vincent-bollore-questioned-in-corruption-probe-14565253

Huawei ban: Full timeline as Chinese company’s chairman predicts ‘difficult’ 2020 https://www.cnet.com/news/huawei-ban-full-timeline-2020-us-government-china-trump-ban-security-threat-mate-x/

CLASS 6 — STATE OWNED ENTERPRISES AND IMAGE MAKING

Basic idea: State Owned Entreprises (SOEs) are economic pillars in their countries, in strategic fields, ranging from energy to infrastructures. In their image making, they are closely linked with the State, for the good and for the better. Sometimes they are the ones supporting — including paying — for the country’s image, sometimes they are the ones caught in the limbo after political mistakes by authorities. These dual — political and economic- giants feel the need of improved communications in a world increasingly under political and geopolitical risks. For example, China is nowadays under increased global scrutiny for the way its SOEs are expanding and competing at international level.

Useful links for exam:

Saudi Aramco scales back preparations for flotation https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/nov/18/saudi-aramco-scales-back-preparations-initial-public-offering

China’s SOE Reforms: What the Latest Round of Reforms Mean for the Market https://www.china-briefing.com/news/chinas-soe-reform-process/

The Russia-Africa Summit: The next stage in the Kremlin’s Africa charm offensive https://www.epc.eu/en/Publications/The-Russia-Africa-Summit-The-next-stage-in-the-Kremlins-Africa-charm~2b55c0

CLASS 7 — MAJOR GLOBAL NARRATIVES

Basic idea: There are several key narratives that share the current global scene: women empowerment, great power competition, Africa / Asia rising, climate change/ emergency, Artificial Intelligence and the 4th Industrial Revolution, migration and refugees, globalization and its discontents. These narratives periodically repeat on global screen, they are the “music” / hot topics of our time.

Useful links for exam:

Oxford Dictionaries declares ‘climate emergency’ the word of 2019 https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/nov/21/oxford-dictionaries-declares-climate-emergency-the-word-of-2019

How was #MeToo movement’s impact? Study shows coverage sympathetic, not necessarily empowering Read more at: //economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/70675456.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/magazines/panache/how-was-metoo-movements-impact-study-shows-coverage-sympathetic-not-necessarily-empowering/articleshow/70675456.cms

Why unlearning is as vital as learning in the Fourth Industrial Revolution https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2019/09/to-maximize-the-4ir-we-need-to-do-some-serious-unlearning/

CLASS 8 — GLOBAL CIVIL SOCIETY AND GLOBAL COMMS

Basic idea: Global civil society has historically been key in shaping global narratives, and swaying international audiences for their cause. The secret is a combination of emotion (from communicators, via messages /soundbites, their delivery and actions) and in projecting moral high-ground / supremacy, which is key when promoting or defending a cause. The most efficient global NGOs are niche, and have become a brand in decades long of consistent passionate action. The higher they go, they higher they fall, the saying goes, so crisis affecting civil society’s values bites stronger the brand than for economic and political counterparts. Think tanks are the brains of the world’s decision makers & make an interesting niche in global civil society circles.

Useful links for exam:

Greenpeace report exposes how multinationals are pretending to solve the plastic crisis https://www.greenpeace.org/usa/news/greenpeace-report-exposes-how-multinationals-are-pretending-to-solve-the-plastic-crisis/

International Crisis Group — Preventing War. Shaping Peace. https://www.crisisgroup.org/who-we-are + International Committee of the Red Cross All campaigns https://www.icrc.org/en/support-us/campaigns

Council of Councils — G20 Think Tanks https://councilofcouncils.cfr.org/about-us

CLASS 9 — GLOBAL TV NETWORKS

Basic idea: Although the online world is growing, in terms of global communications campaigning, world TV networks are still kings and queens. Global radio is also relevant, particularly when trying to influence “filtered” markets. The world when Cable News Network (CNN) meant global TV monopoly is gone, CNN has competition — also ideological one, like Fox News- from home, but also from abroad. Both established world powers like France, Germany and the UK, and emerging ones, like China, Russia, Turkey and others, are investing nowadays a lot in their global TV networks.

Useful links for exam:

World news channels https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_world_news_channels?fbclid=IwAR1dXpchXIElsvA1PdrbOIe-LluY6H4SuzqoOgOsByHBfTHcq9QniouQGjU

US launches new Mandarin network as Washington and Beijing battle for global influence https://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy/article/3039109/us-launches-new-mandarin-network-washington-and-beijing-battle?fbclid=IwAR2YUdO7Z2llFpNMPQMv2IF3dQSOY3W5U41kHSXGq3aXIXWyRs3LpJHbLl0

Radio Free Europe to reintroduce news service in Romania https://www.romania-insider.com/radio-free-europe-reintroduces-service-romania?fbclid=IwAR1ZNb6o4_aHMTm1UGXUsRmox-p__amUg1ZKdeQwt-ix90WUYgIcsYTiR_M

CLASS 10 — “POSITIVE” GLOBAL CAMPAIGNING: ACTIVE SIDE

Basic idea: There are 4 possible cases for a global campaign, and this is the first one. Positive and active means a global actor tries, proactively, from its own initiative, to look better internationally, or to win hearts and minds for its causes.

Useful links for exam:

Global Britain — The UK’s future is outside the EU. https://globalbritain.co.uk

Expo 2020 Dubai calls itself ‘the world’s greatest show’: So what can you expect? https://www.zdnet.com/article/expo-2020-dubai-calls-itself-the-worlds-greatest-show-so-what-can-you-expect/

CLASS 11 — “POSITIVE” GLOBAL CAMPAIGNING: REACTIVE VERSION

Basic idea: Positive and reactive is a case of global campaign which normally happens when an international actor wants to regain prestige after a perceived crisis or downfall in terms of image or influence.

Useful links for exam:

‘Davos in the desert’ begins as Saudi Arabia seeks to put aside Khashoggi affair https://www.ft.com/content/1853dd00-f963-11e9-a354-36acbbb0d9b6

New Qatar World Cup corruption scandal over ‘secret $100m deal between FIFA and beIN’ https://www.thenational.ae/sport/football/new-qatar-world-cup-corruption-scandal-over-secret-100m-deal-between-fifa-and-bein-1.697343 + Preparing Qatar for the 2022 World Cup https://www.eniday.com/en/technology_en/qatar-2022-world-cup/

CLASS 12 — “NEGATIVE” GLOBAL CAMPAIGNING: ACTIVE MODEL

Basic idea: Negative and active global campaigning is a case when a global actor preventively/ pre-emptively strikes into a perceived opponents’ image, either to prevent the competitor to rise, or to level the playing field.

Useful links for exam:

Fake European Parliament magazine EP Today filled with RT content https://www.dw.com/en/fake-european-parliament-magazine-ep-today-filled-with-rt-content/a-50749946

In blow to China, Japan’s ‘quality infrastructure’ to get endorsement at Osaka G20 https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2019/06/25/business/economy-business/blow-china-japans-quality-infrastructure-get-endorsement-osaka-g20/#.XhON9WQzbD4

CLASS 13 — “NEGATIVE” GLOBAL CAMPAIGNING: REACTION OPTION

Basic idea: Negative and reactive is normally a defensive move by a world player who feels its image and influence are affected and prefers to strike directly at the main bashing competitor, not just to play defense via a charm offensive.

Useful links for exam:

Information Warfare: the Communist Party of China’s Influence Operations in the United States and Japan https://www.carnegiecouncil.org/publications/articles_papers_reports/information-warfare-communist-party-of-china-influence-operations-in-us-and-japan

China accuses the US of ‘bullying behavior’ https://www.cnbc.com/2019/05/17/china-accuses-the-us-of-bullying-behavior.html

CLASS 14 — GLOBAL STORYTELLING: CRAFTING THE PERFECT MESSAGE

Basic idea: Global storytelling for successful communications campaigning is a craft that entails a skilled set of communicators, a well calibrated message (an image audit/ an issue poll before launching the campaign helps), and a memorable motto and set of soundbites (impact-full expressions). Like any efficient storytelling, it normally has a villain, a prince charming (or a charming princess) and a plot, and a whole array of emotions are being displayed (from outcry to humour) to guarantee viral messages and audience success. Storytelling also can’t escape the spirit of the age, and since this is great power competition, we are entering also an era of competitive storytelling.

Useful links for exam:

Competitive storytelling amid great power competition https://www.asiatimes.com/2019/09/opinion/competitive-storytelling-amid-great-power-competition/?fbclid=IwAR1MCMu7V7qS-O-y1DtaU1VvrQE9mcY_J7ccpRC1E2LDmfsRcMGj7rX5Jl8

Understanding The Seven Basic Plots https://www.how-to-write-a-book-now.com/seven-basic-plots.html

People around the globe are divided in their opinions of China https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/12/05/people-around-the-globe-are-divided-in-their-opinions-of-china/

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FINALLY: Want to read more?

Artz, L. (2015) Global Entertainment Media: A Critical Introduction Singapore: John Wiley & Sons Hamelink,

C. J. (2014) Global Communication London: Sage McPhail,

Thomas L (2014) Global Communication: Theories, Stakeholders, and Trends Chichester, UK: John Wiley

Welcome to the Competition — NADIA SCHADLOW, https://warontherocks.com/2017/01/welcome-to- the-competition/

Soft Power 30: a Global Ranking of Soft Power 2019 https://softpower30.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/The-Soft-Power-30-Report-2019-1.pdf

Global analyst, consultant, trainer & think tanker. Former PM adviser in Eastern Europe. Power Strategist -focus: #leadership #competition #communications #risk