One of the key elements of an effective marketing message is that its originator doesn’t necessarily make it clear what, if anything, is being marketed. So it’s been a bit strange to see that so many Americans, from former presidents to Colin Powel, who have openly described the fact that more American support for those in the Tsunami’s path might result in a better image of America in a region where that image could use a major boost.
Having said that, there is no doubt that Colin Powell was telling it like it is in Jakarta when he explained: “When people believe there is a future in their country, in such circumstances we think it is less likely that terrorism will find fertile ground. That works not only in our national security interest but the national security interest of the countries involved.”
And there you have it. Altruism is good. But it’s probably not a reasonable longterm strategy for running a country. But a lot of times doing the right thing is core to our national security efforts.
I’m not sure that has to be part of our external marketing package. But we had better start understanding that internally in a hurry.