American Business and Its Role in Public Diplomacy

Authored by: Keith Reinhard

Routledge Handbook of Public Diplomacy

Print publication date:  October  2008
Online publication date:  November  2008

Print ISBN: 9780415953016
eBook ISBN: 9780203891520
Adobe ISBN: 9781135926892


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Those who think public diplomacy is not the business of business should think again. Even those who believe the only goal of business is to return profit to its shareholders might have to agree that a world in which 18 percent of consumers in G8 countries already say they avoid buying American brands1 is at least a threat to that primary goal. American business, especially the growing number of American multinationals that derive more than half their revenue from markets outside the U.S., need a world that welcomes American goods and services. That’s the first reason U.S. corporations should play a role in public diplomacy. It’s in their own self-interest. Whatever U.S. corporations can do to lift America’s reputation will eventually lift the prospects for American business.

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