New White House Office Coordinates Global Communications
The President understands the importance of conveying America's message to the world. Better coordination of our international communications will help convey the truth about America and the goals we share with people everywhere. He knows we need to communicate our policies and values to the world -- with greater clarity and through dialogue with emerging voices around the globe. Created by Executive Order of the President, this new office within the White House coordinates strategic communications with global audiences, integrating the President's themes into new and ongoing programs.
The New Office of Global Communications
The Office of Global Communications (OGC) advises on the strategic direction and themes that United States government agencies use to reach foreign audiences. The Office assists in the development of communications programs that disseminate truthful, accurate, and effective messages about the American people and their government. With State Department Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs remaining at the frontlines of international communications, Global Communications coordinates the work of many agencies and Americans to convey a few simple but powerful messages. These will be aimed to prevent misunderstanding and conflict, build support for and among United States coalition partners, and better inform international audiences.
Lessons learned from the temporary Coalition Information Centers (CIC) have been applied to the new Office. Created to react to our adversaries' misinformation, CIC quickly proved that White House-led efforts could facilitate strategic, proactive communications in the war on terror. Last year's focus on the liberation of women in Afghanistan is a prime example. Working closely with the communications office of the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, Global Communications recently coordinated communications about the Administration's Ramadan activity and the President's views on Islam.
Recognizing the value of remotely deployed coalition information centers, the President has authorized the new Office to coordinate with the appropriate agencies the creation of teams of communicators to work in areas of intense global media interest. No such team is currently operating, but OGC is organized to move swiftly in cooperation with other US government agencies and coalition partners.
America's Message to the World
This new office assists the President in communicating his message to the world -- dignity, security and liberty for all people, everywhere. The "non-negotiable demands of human dignity" and the National Security Strategy's focus on peace and freedom are US Government policy, but they are also universal aspirations. As such, they provide a framework for more listening and greater dialogue around the globe, and a framework in which OGC will coordinate a variety of new efforts.
As the President says, we value the dignity of all human life. Family, learning and generosity, both here at home and around the world, are central to prosperity and peace for all.
Meanwhile, for security's sake, we seek to defend, preserve and extend the peace. The President's strategy makes clear that peace is defended by fighting terror and tyranny. Peace is preserved with good relations among great powers. And peace is extended by encouraging free and open societies.
And America must always stand for liberty. As the President plainly states, freedom is God's gift to every single person. Freedom is also the one true model for national success. Different circumstances require different methods -- we help societies so they can choose for themselves the rewards of political and economic freedom.
The President understands that reaching global audiences -- especially people who are open to the truth but unsure or critical of some aspects of America -- will take many years, but we must begin to make a difference now.
OGC coordination efforts focus on 1) daily messages, 2) communications planning, and 3) long-term strategy.
1. OGC produces The Global Messenger, a one-page fact sheet sent world-wide to disseminate key points and daily activities on global issues. OGC leads a daily conference call of Administration leaders to coordinate near-term and mid-range communications planning. The office also works closely with the State and Defense Departments to ensure rapid response to allegations and rumors in the war on terror.
2. The new office coordinated themes and events to support the President's successful drive for Congressional and U.N. support for disarming Saddam Hussein. OGC is coordinating efforts to reveal the disinformation and propaganda of the Iraqi regime, including the publication of Apparatus of Lies: Saddam's Disinformation and Propaganda, 1990-2003. Working closely with the Pentagon and all relevant agencies, OGC is coordinating the launch of new reconstruction initiatives in Afghanistan. Also, from time to time, OGC facilitates the organization of teams of communicators to be sent proactively to foreign or domestic areas of high global interest and media attention. For example, one such team worked with the international media gathered in Kabul, Afghanistan for the Loya Jirga. This effort underscored the ongoing US and coalition commitment to rebuilding the country and restoring liberty.
3. OGC will coordinate government-wide efforts to convey America's message to the world by improving communications about US humanitarian and pro-democracy efforts. Drawing on the President's outreach to Arab and Muslim audiences, OGC is working closely with the State Department to increase our interaction with existing pan-Arab news media. Also, the Office is studying new ways to reach Muslim audiences directly via US-supported broadcasting.