Reports and papers

Public Diplomacy and Nation Branding: Conceptual Similarities and Differences

22 Oct 2008 - 15:10

The aim of this study is to explore potential relationships between public diplomacy and nation branding, two emerging fields of studies, which are increasingly being used in the same context. After examining the origins of the two concepts, a review of definitions and conceptualisations provide a point of departure for exploring the relationship between the two areas. Depending on the degree of integration, five conceptual models are outlined, each with potential pitfalls as well as advantages. According to the first approach, public diplomacy and nation branding are unrelated and do not share any common grounds. In other views, however, these concepts are related and it is possible to identify different degrees of integration between public diplomacy and nation branding. In the final version, the concepts are exactly the same, public diplomacy and nation branding are synonyms for the same concept. Relationship building is suggested as the central paradigm of both public diplomacy and nation branding which can also serve as the central concept upon which the two areas could be further integrated. The study concludes that more integration and cooperation will be needed between practitioners and scholars from both spheres to further enhance the theoretical and practical bases of these challenging but fascinating areas.

György Szondi is a senior lecturer in Public Relations at Leeds Business School, Leeds Metropolitan University. Prior to academia, Gyorgy worked for Hill and Knowlton, the international PR consultancy. His articles and book chapters appeared in the Journal of Public Affairs; Place Branding and Public Diplomacy; The Public Diplomacy Handbook; The Global Public Relations Handbook. He is completing a PhD on the interdisciplinary study of public diplomacy for the European Union.