Cultural Diplomacy as Public Relations in an Indonesian Consulate in Australia
Faculty of Education and Arts
School of Communications and Arts / Centre for Research in Entertainment, Arts, Technology, Education and Communications
In this paper we investigate the similarities and possible convergence between public relations and cultural diplomacy in the work of the Indonesian Consulate General in Perth, Western Australia. Using a qualitative research approach, interviews were held with Consulate staff and heads of Indonesian organizations based in Western Australia. The findings show that the Consulate General does perform a public relations role through its culturally based communication practices. Indonesian community organisations liaise with the Consulate General and its publics, and effectively serve as a communication channel to the Indonesian citizens in Perth. Balai Bahasa Indonesia Perth, is an example of an international actor performing cultural diplomacy on behalf of Indonesia. The research concludes that cultural diplomacy is another form of public relations, in which two-way symmetrical communication and mutual understanding are pursued.