Sunday, January 31, 2010

My New Media Mission to USNATO


Since September, I have been working with the US Mission to NATO as a Virtual Foreign Service intern. USNATO would like to encourage understanding, interest and participation in NATO issues among students, in order to grow and engage the next generation of transatlantic leaders. So, I have spent my time researching different ways they can better reach out to this audience. Throughout this project, I have been working with public affairs staff at the mission in Brussels, which has been a great opportunity to really be a part of the staff and the overall mission. I report weekly to Tanya Brothen, a New Media Officer on assignment at USNATO. As a student of public diplomacy who is interested in utilizing the tools of new media as public diplomacy, it is really encouraging to know that the State Department sees value in these new media methods as well. My immediate ideas for the project were to launch a new media strategy for USNATO. To my surprise, USNATO already had a good foundation and had really put itself out there in the new mediascape. There is a USNATO Facebook, a YouTube page, and a NATOchannel.tv. What I like most about social media is that it can serve as a great listening tool. Rather than just broadcasting a message, social media tools like Facebook and Twitter allow publics to give feedback to the host which is important to the State Department mission overall. I'm going to explore these sites over the next week. Would love some feedback about what things would improve these tools. Til next time..

4 comments:

Linda Margaret said...

Interesting--everybody in Brussels is social media crazy, from the private companies to the EU institutions (with whom I work). Maybe we can set up virtual interns--that would be interesting. How does it work?

Paul Rockower said...

you are a busy bee.

Tanya said...

Hi Katharine, thanks for the mention! To Linda: you can find more information about the Virtual Student Foreign Service on their website: http://www.state.gov/vsfs/

Basically, the program matches students in the U.S. with our embassies overseas.

Katharine Keith said...

Also, check out my previous post

http://bit.ly/9lX2xX