This study considers U.S. public diplomacy efforts in Northeast Asia in the context of the country’s foreign policy “pivot” toward the region. Focused specifically on American efforts to communicate online with publics in China, Japan and South Korea, this research examines embassy websites and social media feeds in order to characterize the most visible aspects of American PD 2.0 in the region. Findings indicate that despite the interactive potential of these online tools, the U.S. approach to public diplomacy in the online context remains overwhelmingly unilateral, with one-way messaging the norm and instances of engagement with the target publics exceedingly rare. Implications of these findings are discussed.
Emily Metzgar joined the faculty at Indiana University’s School of Journalism in 2008. Her research focuses on public diplomacy, international communication, and the role of media in society. She earned a PhD in media and public affairs from Louisiana State University’s Manship School of Mass Communication. Previously she served as an American diplomat at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing. She has also worked at the National Defense University and the United States Institute of Peace and is an alumnus of the Japan Exchange & Teaching (JET) Program. Emily has extensive writing and editing experience and in addition to academic and professional publications, she served as a columnist for the Shreveport Times (LA) while completing her doctoral work. She has a bachelor’s degree in political science and French from the University of Michigan and a master’s degree in international politics with an emphasis on East Asia from the Elliott School of International Affairs at The George Washington University.