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Cablegate: New Media, Old Dogs and New Tricks: Eap Press Workshop

VZCZCXRO2826
RR RUEHCHI RUEHCN RUEHGH RUEHKSO RUEHNH
DE RUEHBK #2554/01 2790931
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 060931Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY BANGKOK
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 8530
INFO RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 7554
RUEHUM/AMEMBASSY ULAANBAATAR 0652
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 5851
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 1981
RUEHJA/AMEMBASSY JAKARTA 7145
RUEHKL/AMEMBASSY KUALA LUMPUR 7873
RUEHML/AMEMBASSY MANILA 0881
RUEHPF/AMEMBASSY PHNOM PENH 2962
RUEHGP/AMEMBASSY SINGAPORE 5445
RUEHHI/AMEMBASSY HANOI 7679
RUEHVN/AMEMBASSY VIENTIANE 5744
RUEHGO/AMEMBASSY RANGOON 5934
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 0036
RUEHWL/AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON 0129
RUEHSV/AMEMBASSY SUVA 0488
RUEHGH/AMCONSUL SHANGHAI 0211
RUEHCN/AMCONSUL CHENGDU 0554
RUEHHK/AMCONSUL HONG KONG 5247
RUEHNH/AMCONSUL NAHA 0106
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 0395
RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO 0381
RUEHKO/AMCONSUL NAGOYA 0011
RUEHCHI/AMCONSUL CHIANG MAI 7110
RUEHDN/AMCONSUL SYDNEY 8253
RUEHBN/AMCONSUL MELBOURNE 0639
RUEHJA/AMCONSUL SURABAYA 0104
RUEHIN/AIT TAIPEI 9064

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BANGKOK 002554

STATE FOR EAP/PD

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KPAO OIIP OPRC TH

SUBJECT: NEW MEDIA, OLD DOGS AND NEW TRICKS: EAP PRESS WORKSHOP
EXPLORES PD MESSAGING FOR A NEW ERA

Summary
-------

1. (SBU) The EAP Press and Information Officers Workshop held in
Bangkok, September 14-16, was an opportunity to review strategic
responses to broad regional issues, deepen understanding of key
messages and policy objectives from the new administration on global
issues, and improve understanding of resources and new technologies
that can better enable PD officers to promote USG objectives. The
workshop gathered more than fifty information officers, public
affairs officers, and locally employed media specialists for one of
the largest PA workshops ever held in the region. Participants were
exposed to a broad range of media tools and ideas to hone their
craft and better develop their messaging at their respective posts.
(End summary.)

The View from Washington
------------------------

2. (SBU) A highlight of the conference was a series of DVC
conversations between the workshop participants and Under Secretary
for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Judith McHale, Assistant
Secretary P.J. Crowley, Assistant Secretary Kurt Campbell and
Ambassador Scott Marciel. Secretary McHale challenged attendees to
reach all the people we can through all the methods we can, but
warned that "new media" is a tool, and not a strategy.

3. (SBU) Assistant Secretary Crowley said that three top priorities
for the Department were non-proliferation, climate change and
greater resources for traditional development. Ambassador Marciel
underscored the importance of using metrics to measure PD
performance results and discussed the new mission to ASEAN to be
established in Jakarta in 2010. Assistant Secretary Campbell
reiterated the importance of the issue of climate change and
encouraged posts to be more active in promoting U.S. environmental
policy. Assistant Secretary Campbell also seconded a suggestion to
establish a "media ops-center" or at least the establishment of a
media position within the ops-center to respond to crises and the
subsequent media spillover without EAP posts having to wait a full
day for the "regular" press guidance cycle to operate.

What's the hubbub, bub?
-----------------------

4. (SBU) EAP Media Hub Director Scott Weinhold explained the role
of the new regional media hub: to increase and to speed up
engagement with broadcast media in the region. The Tokyo-based
media hub will assist posts with finding USG officials for local
media requests and assist with the quick turnaround of talking
points on breaking news. Understanding that the media cycle is
moving at ever faster rates and that the media is always hungry for
content, the rationale for the media hub is that it's better for USG
officials to present on-camera instead of having others speaking for
us.

Honolulu and You!
----------------


BANGKOK 00002554 002 OF 002


5. (SBU) Participants heard that Honolulu-based institutions might
be some of the most "underutilized resources in EAP." PACOM, the
East-West Center, the Asia Pacific Center for Security Studies and
other organizations based in Hawaii straddle the line between the
U.S. and Asia and serve as natural bridges between the two regions.
These organizations offer a wide range of opportunities for posts in
the form of seminars, conferences and training programs on a wide
array of topics and themes.

The Eye that Never Sleeps, The Ear that Never Rests
--------------------------------------------- ------

6. (SBU) While familiar to some of the attendees, the resources and
services available from the Open Source Center, which has a bureau
in Bangkok, came as a surprise to many. The OSC's full-time
monitoring of open media and their analyses make the OSC an
important ally for missions hoping to better understand their local
and regional media environment. The comprehensive "media guide"
provides exhaustive analysis of media organizations by countries and
is a handy reference manual for mission PD officers.

Google, MySpace and Facebook, oh my!
--------------------------------------------- -----

7. (SBU) Of particular interest to many of the workshop
participants were several hands-on training sessions that dealt with
the emergence of New Media, i.e. the social networking platforms
like Facebook, Twitter, Hi-5, and other developments in blogging and
chatting on-line. In addition to running basic and advanced
training on social networks and networking, Christina Tribble
provided in-depth exploration of resources available on the internet
that can provide media units with better understanding of the
potential and possible hazards involved in exploring opportunities
in new forms of media.

That's How We Roll
------------------

8. (SBU) The workshop concluded with a densely-packed cornucopia of
best practices from each of the represented posts and provided
attendees with the perfect opportunity to steal their colleague's
clever ideas and tried and true methods. While each post labors
under different circumstances--resources, audiences, objectives,
etc.--many of the good ideas and strategies could be adapted. Ideas
like embedding bloggers, tactics like forging an emotional
connection with audiences, and ambitious and imaginative use of TV
co-ops and social networking gave participants concrete examples to
use.

Conclusion
----------

9. (SBU) This workshop was an excellent kickoff event for the new
EAP Regional Media Hub and a key networking and training opportunity
for EAP embassy and consulate press experts. The new media workshop
sessions demonstrated many exciting new technologies but also
highlighted the challenges that can accompany these new outreach
methods.
JOHN

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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