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Corporate Cultural Diplomacy (CCD) is not a phrase that trips easily off the tongue. It sounds very weighty and serious. But in fact, it’s a simple but sophisticated business tool that companies and organisations both large and small can use to manage their international relationships.

Much as governments use ‘soft power’ to extend their influence and networks overseas (for example by organizing cultural events through their embassies), Corporate Cultural Diplomacy is a tool that companies use to raise their brand profile and build relationships across cultures.

This may mean creating bridges within their own country to minorities such as the aborigines in Australia, or launching joint cultural events in new markets such as concerts in China with both Western and Chinese orchestras.

…But does that mean Corporate Cultural Diplomacy is Corporate Social Responsibility or CSR in disguise?

The answer is both yes – both disciplines focus on social, charitable and cultural dimensions – and no.

When used correctly, Corporate Cultural Diplomacy, is a very specialized branch of CSR that is best expressed by the acronym M.A.G.I.C.

Here are the 5 basic M.A.G.I.C. ingredients of Corporate Cultural Diplomacy:

M. Meets corporate objectives

A. Abroad or across cultures (including a multicultural workplace)

G. Gains influence

I. Initiative driven

C. Culturally centred

If used intelligently, all these elements work together in a highly targeted and coherent programme of cultural events that raise brand awareness, build relationships, extend networks and ultimately help to maximize profits in new and dynamic markets like those of Asia.

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…So what are the characteristics of a successful Corporate Cultural Diplomacy campaign?

This is the topic of the interview I hosted in the Asia Business Network Expert Series with Grant Hall, Founder of a new business called League Cultural Diplomacy, an international event management and consulting firm that specialises in Corporate Cultural Diplomacy.

Grant is from South Australia but is currently based in a seaside town in Vietnam. Grant has been managing arts and cultural events for over 20 years and has coordinated hundreds of events, including orchestral concert tours and critically acclaimed arts festivals in Australia and the rest of Asia Pacific.

So he’s just the person to give companies advice and assistance on this aspect of corporate ‘soft power’. Tune in as we get into the nitty-gritty of how a CCD campaign can help companies succeed in Asia business:

8 Must Knows To Create An Asian Cultural Diplomacy Campaign

Listen in as we discuss:

  • How an Australian mining company built good relations with the aboriginal population
  • A unique approach to solving serious problems with Asian suppliers
  • Extending trade links and contacts with local governments in China
  • Creating TRUST with immersive cultural experiences and a mutually enjoyable environment
  • Mitigating cultural mistakes and social blunders
  • Leveraging reciprocal obligations and cultural understanding
  • Who you need to influence, why, and at what level
  • How sound cultural competence can create winning campaigns

Grant directs his programmes from his base in Vietnam. Discover what he loves best about living there. It’s more than living in shorts and T-shirts!

Have you or your company thought of trying cultural diplomacy to build long term relationships in Asia?

Would you add anything to Grant’s great advice on how to create a Corporate Cultural Diplomacy strategy? Please add your thoughts in the comments box and share this blog with friends or colleagues on the social media buttons below.



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