Can NATO “Re-brand”? What do you think?

by | Mar 13, 2009


During the Cold War, when Western and Warsaw Pact tanks were facing each other, the idea of a “selling” NATO’s role to allied publics would have been ludicrous because everyone knew why it was important. Now, in the run-up to the Alliance’s 60th anniversary, NATO has realised how important it is to communicate its role and worth to publics in European and North America.

But doing so at a time when the only kind of security ordinary people think about is their job security is a real challenge. As my colleague Nick Witney has said: “Defense is no longer a business of manning the ramparts or preparing to resist invasion. It has to be about an attempt to project stability. It is a hard doctrine to get people to believe in.”

To help NATO communicate better, it has hired an executive from Coca-Cola to manage the way the alliance is seen around the world and launched a an internet-based service called NATO TV as well as a Media Operations Centre (called the “MOC”) with the sole task of improving communications about NATO’s Afghan mission. 

Next week, I will attend an internal NATO meeting to discuss ways to overcome NATO’s communications challenges. And this is where you come in. I’d like to solicit the help of you, the rarified group of people who make up the Global Dashboard readership.

For I’d like to tell the assembled defence communicators what security-tracking, information-seeking, well-informed people like yourselves think are the biggest communications challenges for NATO — and perhaps how to overcome  these.

So here are a couple of questions I’d love to get your in-put on, which I will duly pass on at the NATO meeting.

  1. What are NATO’s greatest challenges now and over the next five years?
  2. What are the most serious threats to your country’s national security and what role do you think NATO should play in addressing this?
  3. What aspect of NATO’s communications do you think works well? 
  4.  What do you think of NATO TV? How can it be improved?
  5. If you were in charge of NATO communications, what would you do?

I look forward to hearing what you think.

Author


More from Global Dashboard

Justice for All and the Economic Crisis

Justice for All and the Economic Crisis

As COVID-19 plunges the world into its most serious economic crisis for a century, a surge in demand for justice is inevitable. Businesses face bankruptcy – and whole industries may be insolvent. Similar pain is being felt in the public and non-profit sectors....

Who Speaks for the Global South Recipients of Aid?

Who Speaks for the Global South Recipients of Aid?

The murder of George Floyd and the resurfacing of the Black Lives Matter movement has led to heightened discussions on race in the international development sector. Aid practitioners in the North have not only condemned the systemic racism that they (suddenly) now see...