Counter-Terrorism Strategic Communications: Back to the Future, Lessons from Past and Present

Alastair Reed 4 Jul 2017

This Report explores the lessons that can be learned from past communication experiences to aid Counter-Terrorism Strategic Communications (CTSC) campaigns targeting the current propaganda threat from so-called “Islamic State” (IS). It will do this by highlighting four lessons from the past from two different areas of communication practice – the history of propaganda and political communication – that are relevant for the current information war against IS. These are i) the need for multiple mediums of communication, ii) the say-do-gap, iii) defensive and offensive messaging, and, finally, iv) market research and targeting.

This Report was originally published as part of the book “Terrorists’ Use of the Internet: Assessment and Response”. This book compiles revised versions of a selection of papers delivered at an Advanced Research Workshop on ‘Terrorists’ Use of the Internet’ supported by the NATO Science for Peace and Security Programme and held at Dublin City University on 27–29 June 2016. The event was co-organised by Swansea University’s Cyberterrorism Project and the EU FP7-funded VOX-Pol project.

Read the Report.