Digital Diplomacy


And the future of international engagement

Digital Diplomacy

Portland hosted an event at Canada House on Tuesday 24 March to discuss how diplomacy is changing.

Diplomacy must adapt. Unlike previous changes in technology, adapting to social media is more than merely adapting to the technology – it is accepting a new communications hierarchy.

Digital diplomacy has meant that diplomatic engagement is no longer an exclusive activity. People at all levels can engage, and choose to connect with governments the world over using online tools and platforms. People are empowered to reach out to their own governments and others, and when they do, they demand engagement.

We assembled a panel of experts to discuss how this is changing communications, and what you need to know to be prepared.

  • Alastair Campbell (Chair), Chief Strategy Adviser at Portland and former Director of Strategic Communications at 10 Downing Street
  • The Hon Alexander Downer AC, Australian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom
  • Jimmy Leach, Portland digital advisor, former Head of Digital Communications at the Prime Minister’s Office and Head of Digital Diplomacy at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office
  • Tom Fletcher CMG, British Ambassador to Lebanon and author of the ‘Naked Diplomat’ blog
  • Scott Nolan Smith, Digital strategist at Portland, co-founder of the Digital Diplomacy Coalition and former Head of Digital Diplomacy at the British Embassy in Washington, DC
  • Elizabeth Linder, Government and Politics specialist at Facebook

Watch a full video of the event below.