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Promotion ideas for an Embassy

ratboycom

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So, I am currently interning for the Embassy of Afghanistan doing PR and my boss wants me to think of some ways to promote the embassy and the country. Basically we are trying to shift the image of the country away from three decades of war to more positive things that are happening. Also we are trying to spread a little more info about the culture.
Currently we have an E-news letter/monthly e-zine, have a pretty strong presence in community events, etc. My job is to find ways to grab more attention on the internet side of things, so Social Networking, designing activities and things to get people interested in the culture and such. Currently I am working on building up a Youtube channel to post video from events we have held, musical performances by Afghan artists, etc.

Does anyone have any tips or leads on what I could do to gain more attention to our cause, or have any suggestions for sites or programs I should start working with? In all honesty would anyone want to read a Blog/twitter about goings on in the embassy/country?

Thanks guys

Also, if you could please try not to derail this thread with the typical SF Snark
 

Thomas

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I'll forego the typical (and atypical) SF snark and say that you have a hell of a task on your hands.

Just out of curiosity, is there anything of historical significance that Afghanistan can claim? Neighbor of Mesopotamia or some such?
 

ratboycom

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Originally Posted by Thomas
I'll forego the typical (and atypical) SF snark and say that you have a hell of a task on your hands.

Just out of curiosity, is there anything of historical significance that Afghanistan can claim? Neighbor of Mesopotamia or some such?


Birthplace of Buddhism (or at least first place it proliferated). Used to have a huge Buddha carved into a cliffside in Bahamian, but the Taliban were nice enough to blow up most of it.

Plans are underway to rebuild Kabul to be a so called Eco City...
 

Thomas

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Any beaches, tourist-friendly theme parks, throbbing nightlife, that sort of thing?
 

bananananana

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What is the audience that this promotion is going to? You need to be a lot more detailed in what you're trying to do.
 

Rambo

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I'm not trying to be snarky when I say that the only good things that I can think of coming out of Afghanistan are opium and weed. Maybe goats, if you're into that sort of thing.
 

WSW

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Afghanistan - Under New Management and might be under New Management soon! - Our parties are explosive! - We only sell opium with a valid prescription, so don't ask.
 

Fuuma

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You're reaching out to Japanese nationals? Don't forget that Japan gives A LOT in international help so there might have been a series of projects financed by Japanese help and some of these might be cool/have interesting results/can align w. Japanese concerns/etc.
 

Joffrey

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Originally Posted by ratboycom
So, I am currently interning for the Embassy of Afghanistan doing PR and my boss wants me to think of some ways to promote the embassy and the country. Basically we are trying to shift the image of the country away from three decades of war to more positive things that are happening. Also we are trying to spread a little more info about the culture.
Currently we have an E-news letter/monthly e-zine, have a pretty strong presence in community events, etc. My job is to find ways to grab more attention on the internet side of things, so Social Networking, designing activities and things to get people interested in the culture and such. Currently I am working on building up a Youtube channel to post video from events we have held, musical performances by Afghan artists, etc.

Does anyone have any tips or leads on what I could do to gain more attention to our cause, or have any suggestions for sites or programs I should start working with? In all honesty would anyone want to read a Blog/twitter about goings on in the embassy/country?

Thanks guys

Also, if you could please try not to derail this thread with the typical SF Snark



Look at what [good] embassies in Washington, DC do (look at their websites). Host cultural events and open the space to private parties. Host monthly afghan movie nights, food tastings, maybe wine parings with other countries (France, AUS, USA, Germany, etc.). Bring/host afghan art exhibits.

Edit: tea is apparently a big deal in Afghanistan so do stuff related to tea (maybe tea tastings?), hold a yearly gala/dinner with the afghan ambassador for say 80 ppl or a reasonable number that would fit in the embassy or ambassadors house. Also, be sure to have as many photo opportunities in all the right society/trade papers for people interested in diplomacy/foreign affairs.

Find your equivalent at a different embassy that seems to do alot of events and ask.
 

Icarus

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Free Afghan wine and citizenship
 

mmhollis

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Seriously?


What good is any "PR" going to do if people still can't visit and see for themselves?
 

ratboycom

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Originally Posted by Jekyll
Where are trying to do this? Japan, US, worldwide?

Originally Posted by Fuuma
You're reaching out to Japanese nationals? Don't forget that Japan gives A LOT in international help so there might have been a series of projects financed by Japanese help and some of these might be cool/have interesting results/can align w. Japanese concerns/etc.

This is aimed at Japanese nationals mostly since we are right in the center of Tokyo (I can spit on Tokyo tower from the roof of the embassy), but since I am to work the web side of PR this can be an opportunity to get a worldwide message out. Japan is very involved in rebuilding Afghanistan, and this month JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) borrowed some of our art, rugs, and some food and stuff to display in their gallery.

Originally Posted by Jodum5
Look at what [good] embassies in Washington, DC do (look at their websites). Host cultural events and open the space to private parties. Host monthly afghan movie nights, food tastings, maybe wine parings with other countries (France, AUS, USA, Germany, etc.). Bring/host afghan art exhibits.

Edit: tea is apparently a big deal in Afghanistan so do stuff related to tea (maybe tea tastings?), hold a yearly gala/dinner with the afghan ambassador for say 80 ppl or a reasonable number that would fit in the embassy or ambassadors house. Also, be sure to have as many photo opportunities in all the right society/trade papers for people interested in diplomacy/foreign affairs.

Find your equivalent at a different embassy that seems to do alot of events and ask.


Actually for public events, we are already doing all of the above. We just had a dinner for the national holiday in which we had ambassadors and reps from other embassies and the Japanese government over. We hired a photographer for the event too. We have another big event coming soon that is open to the public, some sort of international day up in a park in Northern Tokyo.

The movie night is an interesting idea. I dont think the wine tasting event would go over too well, being as this is an Islamic republic.

Mainly I am working with the internet presence of the embassy, so any ideas as to working with that would be great.

Thanks for the input (most of you).
 

ratboycom

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Originally Posted by mmhollis
Seriously?


What good is any "PR" going to do if people still can't visit and see for themselves?


The media is mostly concerned with the negative shit that goes on, the PR department is there to show people that shit isnt totally shit in some areas of the country. For instance Kabul is not very dangerous compared to Kandahar which is still within Taliban territory and kind of a shit place to go. People can visit the country if they wish, we offer one week to one month long visas and the Kabul Airport had a new terminal added recently with the help of JICA, also had the runways repaved.
 

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