In this week’s Israel Public Relations news updates, Donald Trump and Chuck Norris apparently don’t agree with President Obama that “…Israel doesn’t know what its own best interests are” as they both endorsed Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. Not sure Trump or Norris endorsements will affect even one Israeli voter – but certainly a cute public relations stunt.
That said, the Hasbara campaign launched this week by the Israeli Foreign Ministry has the potential to be tremendously effective. The campaign is focused on affecting and reaching the 50-80% of the world that is indifferent about the political situation in Israel. (And yes, there are indeed many in the U.S. and elsewhere who think about Tel Aviv as often as avid readers of Times of Israel think about Mozambique).
This new effort highlights a group of approximately 200 inspirational Israelis who will travel the world representing Israel worldwide in speeches and presentations. They are chefs, scientists, athletes and food directors who won’t talk politics but will just talk about their day to day life.
As the Founder of 5WPR, this is a brilliant PR maneuver and one likely to be very effective in creating positive emotions and sentiment for Israel. Few worldwide know the difference politically between Tzipi Livni and Naftali Bennett – and if they do know the difference it is likely they already have well-formed – and difficult to change opinions.
These experts who will focus on everyday life and what they do – from local celebrity chefs to wine sommeliers and can change minds and impact thinking. As anyone who has visited Israel knows, there is such diversity in the tiny country and the people so special that it is frankly impossible for a campaign of this sort to not be effective.
As Zavi Apfelbaum, the senior director of the Foreign Ministry’s brand management said of the effort “…we’re not trying to convince the convinced,” and she added “We realized in order to have people know who we are and relate to us is for them to know who are Israelis and open a door to connect with people.” Basic, simple and will work.
Of course, if one of them is very successful they can apply for the newly created prestigious job of the head of eBay Inc. Head Communications Israel – am sure it will at the very least pay better than the Foreign Ministry. And if not they can try the Camp Oorah Million dollar auction (and at least Jewish education benefits there.)