The Importance of Public Relations in Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism

Dr. Gordon Clubb, Ryan O'Connor, Daniel Koehler, Jonatan Schewe 17 Feb 2022
 
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Keywords: preventing and countering violent extremism, public relations, reintegration programme, community support; transparency

The policy brief makes the case that policymakers and practitioners need to consider how P/CVE programmes engage in public relations (PR), specifically in communicating transparently. P/CVE programmes can benefit from greater community support and trust by engaging in public relations. We show how PR currently benefits different P/CVE programmes. We argue that P/CVE programmes, should develop PR strategies based on the principals of proactive transparency to generate positive news coverage and public support. State-led programmes specifically should provide support within the industry. The brief outlines how research on transparency can inform PR messaging within programmes. Whereas programmes have typically emphasised communicating effectiveness, we show that communicating decision-making processes may be more effective in generating policy support and trust. Overall, the brief contributes to a policy debate on if and how P/CVE programmes should communicate with the public.

Related readings:

Hogendoorn, EJ. The Importance of Politics in Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism in Fragile States. Perspective, The International Centre for Counter-Terrorism, 13 September 2017.

Vermeersch, E., Coleman, J., Demuynck, M. and Dal Santo, E. Social Media in Mali and its Relation to Violent Extremism: A Youth Perspective. Report, The International Centre for Counter-Terrorism, 18 March 2020.

Klein, G.R. Reframing Threats from Migrants in Europe. Perspective, The International Centre for Counter-Terrorism, 13 December 2021.

Mitigating the Impact of Media Reporting of Terrorism: Countering Terrorism through Media in Egypt. Report, The International Centre for Counter-Terrorism, 3 March 2021.

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