Consulate General of the Netherlands in San Francisco, United States

Key Topics

The Netherlands has special relevance to the United States in the following fields:

Dutch Public Diplomacy Strategy in the US

Our public diplomacy efforts are based on the premise that the reputation of a country matters. A good reputation is essential for achieving policy goals and pursuing business opportunities. Inversely, a bad country reputation can damage both public and commercial interests. Therefore, we define our public diplomacy efforts as "reputation management with the ambition to influence policy." Public diplomacy supports our official policy goals in the US.

Given its economic and political weight, the US is particularly important for the Netherlands - as it is for the world. Considering its vast population and geographic size, and realizing the intense competition "for eyeballs," we try to focus our PD efforts both in substance and in regions. Our strategy is based on two main concepts: 'establish relevance' and 'organize dialogue'. We believe that successfully positioning the Netherlands in the U.S. hinges on carefully selecting core themes that are both relevant to our American partners and in line with our main interests; identifying and targeting the key audiences related to those themes; and organizing a dialogue with these partners.

We are focusing on these core themes: 1. Shared History, Shared Values ( International Law & Human Rights and Peace, Security & Stability); 2. Innovation ( Energy & Climate, Water/Climate Adaptation and Food & Nutrition).

On the basis of our key topics, the Dutch Embassy and its network of Consulate-Generals developed core messages to establish relevance and engage in dialogue with American audiences. The core messages are integrated in all our public communications (speeches, press releases, etc). We also invest in events within each of the five PD topic areas, in order to organize that dialogue. For instance in seminars that bring Dutch and American experts together to discuss water management related challenges.

The Dutch network also invests in online and traditional media to get our messages across and to further strengthen this dialogue. We are developing a digital strategy to reach out to our target audiences, and are active on Facebook and  Twitter.  In order to evaluate the success of our public diplomacy strategy, the Dutch network invests in research and media monitoring.