The Ministry’s public diplomacy work

Thinking strategically and setting priorities are absolutely essential to Norway’s public diplomacy efforts. In this work, we therefore focus on just 20 countries that are considered to be particularly important for Norway’s economic and political interests.

Thinking strategically and setting priorities are absolutely essential to Norway’s public diplomacy efforts. It goes without saying that it is impossible to inform the whole world about all aspects of Norway.

In this work, we therefore focus on just 20 countries that are considered to be particularly important for Norway’s economic and political interests. These countries are Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, the UK, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, Italy, Spain, the US, Canada, Brazil, Russia, India, China, Japan, Turkey and South Africa.

Tools and methods

The Foreign Service uses a number of tools and methods to convey Norway’s positions and views to people in other countries, including:

  1. Digital diplomacy/the internet: Embassy websites are one important channel for public diplomacy work. These websites give information about Norway’s political priorities, and practical information about services provided at the embassies. On average, the portal for Norway’s official websites abroad has around 600 000 visitors a month. Norway has more than 100 diplomatic and consular missions around the world, and almost half of these use social media. Facebook and Twitter are the most popular social media channels, but Instagram, Flickr, Tumblr and the Chinese microblogging website Sina Weibo are also increasingly used. Norway’s ambassadors in Ghana, Sri Lanka and Indonesia now use Twitter as much as their colleagues in Brussels, New York and Washington, DC.
  2. The press: The Norwegian missions abroad cooperate actively with the local media in the host countries, and organise press trips to Norway for foreign journalists. Contact with foreign correspondents is established through Norway International Press Centre (NIPS) in Oslo.  The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is now intensifying its cooperation with NIPS, for example by facilitating a series of monthly press meetings with the members of the Government.
  3. The resource base for public diplomacy : This resource base is used by the missions abroad and other relevant actors when they need to tell others about Norway. The tools in the resource base include stories, pictures and presentations that can be used to tell others about the Norwegian business sector, Norwegian politics, society and culture, or Norway’s natural environment.
  4. Budget allocations: The missions abroad use some of their allocated funds for external and outreach activities in priority areas. Activities of this kind include seminars, trade shows, conferences and exhibitions.
  5. Courses: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs gives priority to the professional development of its employees, and offers courses on an ongoing basis in strategic communication, the use of social media, web publishing and managing embassy websites.
  6. Analysis: Knowledge of how Norway is perceived abroad and what Norway’s interests are is central to Norway’s public diplomacy work. We gain this knowledge from a range of sources, including the international image and reputation survey the Anholt-GfK Nation Brands Index, which measures how Norway and other countries are perceived abroad by interviewing people in 35 countries.