Daily Israel Report

Op-Ed: MEDIA MATTERS: The Right Way to Do Israeli PR

Israel, as a continually embattled nation, needs to have a PR battle plan.
Published: Tuesday, October 02, 2012 11:12 AM



Like many supporters of Israel around the world, I am deeply concerned about “Brand Israel” and the constant battering Israel faces in the media. Owning one of the 25 largest U.S. Public Relations Firms, I know that educating media is part and parcel of getting positive media coverage. Having worked with and for the Likud Party, the mayors of Jerusalem and of Tel Aviv, Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Israel Ministry of Tourism I am also well aware that too little effort is paid to Public Relations efforts.

Recently the great news that the Israeli government upgraded Ariel University Center to a full-fledged university was announced.

From a PR standpoint, it’s very important that a decision was also made that ongoing communications seminars sponsored by the School of Communications at the Ariel University and the Israeli Ministry of Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs would be promoted and continue to be hosted.

Often, Israel does a terrible job when it comes to PR – the simple message that Israel is a tiny, democratic country surrounded by murderous despots doesn’t get through— not to governments, the media, or the public. Creation of this program can start to change that.

The seminars, entitled “New Media & Public Diplomacy in Disputed Areas: Israel as a case study” will select 35 or so promising young professionals from around the world who study or practice Journalism, New Media or Political Science to participate in a week of study, tours and activities – all expenses are paid. Participants will meet government officials, high-ranking army officers and public figures, and hear about the conflict from key players in the field.

And that’s all just great news, as thankfully Israel has military might but for too long simply hasn’t enlisted enough troops for today’s media world. Educating and showing the truth goes a long way.

“Start-Up Nation” has so many technology geniuses who can manage today’s new media world, but just like any other profession they need to be trained properly to handle it.

The inauguration of Ariel University, and particularly of the School of Communication which offers the opportunity to learn – in an academic setting – about media’s impact on Israel and the world can only do wonders for the State of Israel.

A justified cause is not enough. To be right is not enough either these days and Israel, as a continually embattled nation, needs to have a PR battle plan.

Israel has so much rich history and many incredible attractions, and programs like this will only do great things for the State of Israel and the Jewish people.

Public Relations is a part of any war, and there need to be enough Pro-Israel troops enlisted for today's media war.

(More details on the Ariel University School of Communication are available at: buzz.arieluc.org/nmpd, or nmpd@ariel.ac.il )

Ronn Torossian is CEO of 5WPR, a US PR Firm, and author of “For Immediate Release” which is available at Amazon and has been lauded by Likud MK Danny Danon as the “best book ever written regarding Israel PR.”