Role of public diplomacy in pursuit of Kenyan`s national interest

The attitudes and perceptions of foreign publics affect the ability of the country to form and maintain alliances in pursuit of common policy objectives; impact the cost and the effectiveness of military operations; influence local populations to either cooperate, support or be hostile as the nation pursues foreign policy and/or military objectives in that other country; affect the ability to secure support on issues of particular concern in multilateral fora; and dampen foreign publics’ enthusiasm for business services and products. The main purpose of the study was to establish the role of Public Diplomacy in pursuit of Kenya’s National Interest. The study sought to establish the role of Public Diplomacy in the War against Terrorism in Kenya, Foreign direct investment (FDI) in Kenya and in the challenge of nation-branding in Kenya. The study employed a rational choice perspective concerning public diplomacy which suggests that there is a continuum of costs and benefits that form the basis for the calculus of states that practice public diplomacy. Descriptive research design was used in the study where both primary and secondary sources were used to collect data. Interviews were conducted and data was analysed qualitatively using content analysis. The study found out that public diplomacy and information campaigns were key aspects of counterterrorism measures and that public diplomacy could be seen as part of nation branding, in which case concepts of branding and marketing are applied to public policy. The study also found out that image building was an effective strategy aimed to attract investors that are in early stages of decision - making. The study finally recommended that the government should further embark on an aggressive information campaign to educate the populace on terrorism, nation-branding and foreign direct investment using public diplomacy.