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Posts Tagged ‘Hassan Rouhani’

The Iranian Nuclear Deal As Digital Communications Case Study

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You probably heard about the new deal reached between the United States, its international partners and the government of Iran regarding the latter nation’s contentious nuclear program in November. However you may feel about the politics underlying this development, there’s no doubt that it signaled a new approach to public relations for the government of Hassan Rouhani, who took office promising to improve his nation’s reputation by opening new lines of communication with the West.

Last week we spoke with Jarrod Bernstein of MWW—whose past titles include Associate Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement and Acting Assistant Secretary for Intergovernmental Affairs for United States Department of Homeland Security—about this event and the ways in which social media has reshaped politics as we know it.

Has social changed the political messaging game? 

“Yes. The way that the pundits were critiquing [the Iran deal] in real-time and even ahead of time and the speed at which the White House and other actors have to respond to incoming criticism has changed dramatically and has the potential to alter the way foreign policy is conducted.

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John McCain Also Fails to Achieve ‘PR Coup’ with Anti-Putin Op-Ed

And stay off my lawn! Newly inaugurated Iranian president Hassan Rouhani isn’t the only politician who tried and failed to achieve a PR win by following Vladimir Putin’s controversial op-ed placement strategy.

Arizona Senator John McCain also saw Putin’s score as a call to action, but in the process he unintentionally provided us with another case demonstrating the value of a well-crafted PR strategy. McCain wanted to place his “Russians Deserve Better Than Putin” article in Pravda, the official state publication of the Communist Party, but instead it ended up on Pravda.ru, a site that “is not connected to Pravda newspaper”. While the site “covers everything from politics to fashion and celebrities”, its editors were even less receptive to McCain’s message. They quickly ran follow-ups calling his piece an “insolent and arrogant rant” written from “the microscopic viewpoint of a mouse”—which is very similar to the way McCain’s congressional colleagues responded to the Putin article.

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Iranian President Hassan Rouhani Needs Some PR Assistance

Vladimir Putin‘s recent New York Times op-ed on Syria may have prompted some serious ethical debates, but it also led to a chorus of “Me too! Me too!” among other politicians looking to distribute their own foreign policy statements. Unfortunately for these followers, they now serve as case studies demonstrating why Putin pays top dollar for Ketchum‘s PR services.

The new, supposedly moderate Iranian president Hassan Rouhani placed an op-ed in The Washington Post urging the United States to pursue “constructive engagement” with his country while condemning the chemical weapons attacks that Iran supposedly helped happen—and he did it without PR assistance. His foreign minister also posted a Rosh Hashanah message earlier this month with the apparent goal of appeasing the Jewish community that predecessor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad worked so hard to alienate by denying that the Holocaust ever happened.

This is progress, right? Not really.

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