Focus Groups Are For Selling Peanut Butter

"U.S. Public Diplomacy chief Charlotte Beers' approach to generating goodwill and understanding for America and Americans in the Muslim and Arab world is remarkably -- even astonishingly--naive and ignorant," writes David Gaier in a guest commentary for O'Dwyer's PR Daily. Gaier is a former U.S. Marine, ex-Special Agent with the U.S.Department of State, and PR veteran, who has spent much time in the Middle East. "Reaching out to Arab Muslims in such times is fraught with difficulty stemming from centuries of history, borders drawn arbitrarily by colonial powers, lack of democratic institutions in the Western sense, and traditions that are tribal in nature and virtually impossible for people from New York or Des Moines to comprehend. ... [T]he best course of action is for our government to articulate clear principles and goals, in support of which we will act using our economic, diplomatic and military capabilities. Keep the focus groups and silly outreach for selling peanut butter," Gaier writes.