Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Part 1: Israel is Guilty…of appalling PR

Israel has been found wanting in the court of PR and has only itself to blame.

This is my firm opinion and the opinion of leading PR, advertising and marketing communication experts in Israel and abroad who feel frustrated – and often angered – by the Israel’s appalling PR performance.

This is especially true after the Goldstone Report, in which Israel – despite the "efforts" of its diplomatic team and the fact that the report contained so many inaccuracies - came out looking like a whining child, falling over itself to respond with anger and self-righteousness, rather than taking a smart, creative and businesslike approach. This would have entailed some strategic planning BEFORE the release of the report - not once it was a fait accompli.
 Personally, I just don’t understand it. Israel has the most amazing story to tell, it’s positioning is one of democratic values, freedom, progress and human rights, and yet we get clobbered in the world media every time.

Is it because the powers that be just don’t see the need – or the potential – for being proactive, for presenting an open, ‘warts and all’ approach? Or because they just refuse point blank to listen to the myriad of English-speaking communication, advertising, PR, branding and promotional experts living and working in Israel, adopting a typically "I know better" attitude?

There are dozens - perhaps even hundreds –  of sophisticated professionals who would bend over backwards to contribute their formidable internationally-honed skills and experience to helping this country fight the negativity and vilification that is poured on it day after day.

With the will and determination - and possibly a small budget to grease the wheels –  the Foreign Ministry, Israel’s main “PR” arm, could recruit a powerful multi-lingual task force of communication strategists, writers, web designers and developers, social networking experts, advertising visualizers, television and radio directors, producers and  presenters.

Such a team, led by creative, energetic people with the required expertise, would be a formidable force which would turn the tide of Israeli PR from its present abysmal situation, into something positive, proactive and helpful.

More on this subject shortly...

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