In this interview with Joshua Miller of the U.S. State Department, learn why sound market research is so important for state agencies and bureaus, and how it can support the work of public diplomacy professionals.
- The characteristics of good market research;
- How market research helps public diplomats;
- How market research can improve the efficiency of public diplomacy;
- The challenges of advocating for more research-based public diplomacy;
- Advice to emerging researchers interested in public diplomacy;
- 3 publications every public diplomacy professional should read.
Josh, what is research driven diplomacy and how did you get involved?
I like to say that every diplomat who does public diplomacy asks the same two questions: “My embassy doesn’t have the budget, or the staff, or the other resources we need to speak with everybody in this country about every possible thing – so whom should we be speaking with and what about?” Good market research answers those questions. It identifies promising targets – the “whom should we be speaking with” – and a winning message – the “what about.”
Armed with those insights, our diplomats can use their public diplomacy resources more effectively – the research tells them how to get the biggest bang for their buck. Which, at its most basic, is what market research does for any kind of communications – it helps maximize the impact of finite resources, whether for public diplomacy, or PR, or political campaigns, or other kinds of outward-facing communications.