Secrecy News

White House Report on Strategic Communication

A new White House report to Congress (pdf) defines “strategic communication” as “the synchronization of our words and deeds as well as deliberate efforts to communicate and engage with intended audiences.”

“This understanding of strategic communication is driven by a recognition that what we do is often more important than what we say because actions have communicative value and send messages,” the report stated.  “Every action that the United States Government takes sends a message.”

Unfortunately, the report does not begin to acknowledge any instances in which U.S. government actions are inconsistent with U.S. government words,  thus necessitating their “synchronization,” and so it is not very illuminating.

A copy of the report, transmitted to Congress on March 16 and reported March 25 by Inside the Pentagon, is available here.

The report refers in passing to a Presidential Study Directive on Development, a document that has not yet surfaced in the public domain.

0 thoughts on “White House Report on Strategic Communication

  1. I thought this report was basically quite sound, and served its intended purpose well. It did not seek, obviously, to be the final word on the subject of strategic communication. Points made about engagement with key audiences and that “efforts to communicate and engage with foreign publics should be shaped by information, research and analysis…(p.5)” are certainly timely, germane, and desperately important. They are not, however, new themes. Neither are they, in the experience of many, particularly noteworthy areas of improvement over the last years.

    I shall remain very interested to see how the Government goes about aligning the words in the report with future actions to improve our strategic communications capacity.

    Dr Andrew Ritcheson

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