Trylon Communications  - September 2004

Mind Games

One of the biggest challenges facing the United States in its war against terrorism is not physical. It is the challenge of winning the battle of public opinion, both here at home as well as overseas. According to comments in the recently released report from the 9/11 Commission, we are doing a very bad job of it.

We have addressed this issue before (see article), but with the continuing pressure of the current political campaigns and world events, it becomes even more critical that the U.S. take a more proactive PR role than it has to date.

Instead of moving forward to let the world know more about who we are and what we are fighting for, it appears that we are moving backwards. For example, the Voice of America has reduced broadcasting from 24 hours a day down to 19. While the government continues to spend billions of dollars on men, equipment and supplies to chase terrorists in Iraq and Afghanistan, it’s actually reducing the amount of money being spent to spread our ideas and ideals to these and other Muslim countries.

It comes back to the idea of creating a Public Relations czar with some real power that can effect changes in our communication to other countries. Our country is no longer viewed as the “knight in shining armor” – by the terrorists or by many of the citizens of the countries we are trying to help.

As the 9/11 Commission so aptly pointed out, how is it possible that we are being outcommunicated by “a man in a cave”?