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Matt Biespiel was the worldwide lead on developing the McDonald's brand. This work includes marshaling the organization’s resources to foster a stronger brand while driving demand among the 70 million guests that enjoy meals at McDonald’s every day. In this capacity, Matt leads a global team that are responsible for overseeing brand governance and standards, steering the thinking behind the iconic i’m lovin’ it advertising campaign, developing and deploying the graphic design narrative of McDonald’s packaging. His extended team includes three of the world’s most influential and awarded agencies: DDB, Leo Burnett, OMD, TBWA. He's created a "culture of creativity" resulting in McDonald's being one of the world's most effective advertised brands and honored by Cannes Lions as the 2014 Creative Marketer of the Year.

Should diplomats be aware of the country’s image abroad depending on what country they serve?

National branding is important for any nation that is trying to attract more business, more leisure travel and more tourism. That means that every country on the planet is competing with other countries to attract financial and human resources. It would be logical to say if that is the case, then a country should look at their nation like a company would look at their brands. The most successful brands are clear about what they stand for, why they matter, and they tell that story in very original ways. That gives them the charisma that they need to grow.

What would be the USA nation brand in web diplomacy?

Well, I can tell you what it is from an official perspective. If you look at the USA, the official motto is “the land of the free and the home of the brave”. The idea of freedom from prosecution, freedom to worship who you want, freedom to go where you want to go, freedom to move up in your stature life, freedom to travel through country... that is a big part of American brand, the home of the brave is a part of the ethos of the people here, the attitude of Americans.

One good question today is whether that slogan in fact the right motto. I think if you look at what is happening in political landscape in the USA, one could ask whether are political leaders are living up to the promise of the land of the free and the home of the brave.

There is another slogan that is on all of our currency; it says “in God we trust”. That goes back to the thought of the freedom of worship and country founded on believing in a creator of all. Both of those are bedrock what this nation is all about.

How can diplomats give charisma to desired image of their country? What about content?

Charisma is about being authentic to who you are, being honest, loyal to your values and communicating them in original ways, and having empathy for people. In the USA today we have a president that has a real empathy for a percentage of the population. He is very clear about what his positions are and how those positions are meaningful to that group of people that he has empathy for. And he uses social media to tell that story on a regular basis. Unfortunately, what's happened is, in appealing to a portion of society, and equally larger (perhaps larger) portion feels alienated You're seeing that in other parts of the world, you're seeing the political situation unfold in the United Kingdom where certain leaders have taken the country down one path around Brexit and others to take them elsewhere.

The question is - do they have charisma? The dictionary defines “charisma” as exercising a sense of charm that inspires devotion. Leaders around the world today have charisma, but much more about devotion from certain populations where they govern. Not the whole population.

Can you give us a few key advices on using web diplomacy in an attempt to combat negative image if it exists?

Countries becoming polarized. There are several different sides of the political spectrum that worked together in history for the common good of the country. What is happening today, more often, is that political leaders are not coming together for the good of the country. Political leaders are focused on appealing to certain populations and are willing to alienate others. So taking that two in corporate branding world would be like big brands saying we do not care about half of population. In fact, we are okay if we insult half of population. Shareholders and stakeholders would say that is suicidal. Because one can’t alienate people into buying your brand.

"Leaders around the world today have charisma, but much more about devotion from certain populations where they govern."

Can social networks be a tool for solving bilateral issues in diplomacy? How?

I would argue that today diplomats should have access to social networks and utilize a number of different methods of communication – persuasion, listening and speaking. Just like today in a consumer world, the path to purchase is not linear. They’re used a marketing funnel. It was logical: awareness, understanding, familiarity, desire, purchase, use, repeat, loyalty, advocacy. Today that funnel does not exist. People come in and out of consideration of brands, and are able to buy brands across a multitude of channels. I have to think in the world of diplomacy that persuading the other side, you would want to use a number of tools including social media because it allows you to tell your story and it allows others to wade into that story. So, it's almost like real time polling in the diplomatic space.

More often than not, the world is becoming aware that there's an opportunity to be more transparent. And because there is such a dramatic reduction in trust of government organizations, being more transparent and communicating frequently is one of the only ways to move from being not trusted to being more trusted.

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