Academically, public diplomacy must be a broad concept. There are many strategies, concepts, terms, and tactics that fit within the field. And just like any other academic field, there are aspects subject to concentration and specialization. That said, I still think the field would benefit from a consensus on a definition. The problem is that everyone else thinks so, too. There are more ‘What is Public Diplomacy?’ writing out there than anyone should read (including this post). Ultimately, we must be aware of the blurry lines that bind fields together.
So, I could simply offer up another definition of public diplomacy. I could write that public diplomacy is the image of a state or its people, as maintained by a government, organization, or people, and held by international publics. I could then go on for 500 words defending that definition. Or, I could just present a diagram, which I think is much more accurate, simple, and enjoyable.
The lines represent communication. Note that there are arrows on both sides, representing two-way communication. The rest speaks for itself. Are there other diagrams, graphs, or pictures representing public diplomacy? What do you think?
2/3/11: I updated the discussion of this diagram. Check it out!