Public Diplomacy

Public diplomacy, as stated by The Fletcher School,  deals with the influence of public attitudes on the formation and execution of foreign policies.  Celebrities commonly have the tendency of getting involved in worldwide issues and becoming vocal about them, perhaps because of the influence they have and having the ability to reach wide audiences. There are a lot of celebrities that come to mind when I think of a celebrity diplomat, one of them being U2 frontman Bono.

Bono has involved himself as an advocator for multiple issues and is linked with different campaigns in the fight against poverty and AIDS in Africa. In 2002, he co-founded DATA, Debt, AIDS, Trade, Africa to raise public awareness for the different issues it stands for.  Then in 2004, DATA helped to create the campaign ONE.  ONE was made to help the fight against poverty an preventable diseases. One.org discusses how Bono has lobbied with congressional leaders and United States presidents to help with his campaigns. Bono also is behind Product (RED), a campaign to raise money to buy AIDS drugs for people in Africa who cannot afford them.

Some people may think that with celebrities being the faces of these campaigns for certain issues is just helping to make them look good.  But even if that is the case, they are still helping to draw attention to important issues.  I feel that celebrities have a big influence in today’s culture, fans are very dedicated to who they follow and with celebrities speaking out and raising awareness for certain issues, they can draw in a lot of attention and inform the public.

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One thought on “Public Diplomacy

  1. I really hate to admit that it’s the truth, but yes, even if Bono was promoting all of this just to look good, it’s still really important that the subjects were brought up in the first place and could finally be addressed openly. Talking about something as misunderstood and stigmatized as AIDS is difficult to do – so if Bono’s only aim in his efforts to provide better resources for those suffering the illness across multiple continents was to look brave and bold to the public, so be it. The positives are still occurring and people are still talking regardless of hidden intentions.

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