In an interview with PR Week, U.S. public diplomacy czar Karen Hughes explains how she began issuing talking points to State Department employees overseas: "I thought, 'What if I were the ambassador somewhere in the world? What's the big story driving news...?' The week I started [as Undersecretary of State], in August 2005, it was Israel's withdrawal from [the Gaza Strip]. I realized that if I were an ambassador, I wouldn't know what to say about that. I spent a day trying to figure out what I should say ... [and] wrote it up and sent it around the world. I was stunned by the reaction. We had probably 20 to 25 e-mails and phone calls saying, 'Can I have more of these?'" Hughes also encouraged PR professionals to support her office: "We've consulted broadly with the private sector. We had the summit with the PR Coalition. I personally have met with a number of public relations executives. We also received permission from a firm, Praxis Media, to use a PR planning tool in our new strategic communications plan."
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