IntroductionNowadays, several nations in the world has adopted the concept of public diplomacy as it is known as a subtle way to create positive nation branding and a clear understanding of a national policy in a way that the government want to be understand and perceive in the global arena by gaining influence through foreign investment, tourism, and education, and innovative industry. The popularity of public diplomacy had led to competitive amongst nation to compete against each other in order to gain competitive edge in international affairs. This analysis aims to discuss the role of public diplomacy in international affairs by paying attention to the technologies, media formats and communication strategies that are used to present nations in the global arena by using Thailand as an example Literature ReviewPublic DiplomacyPublic Diplomacy is defined by Edward Gullion as “the way in which the government deals with the influence of public attitudes on the formation and execution of foreign policies. Encompassing dimensions of international relations beyond traditional diplomacy by cultivated desired public opinion in other countries” (Brown. 2005 page number). The term in which the audience receive the message could be described that,” audience have freedom to decide whether to accept or reject the message and persuasion is achieved through gaining trust and confidence” based on Zaharna (Zaharna. 2004). Credibility could be regarded as the core of public diplomacy, by showing a small bit of manipulation or deception would result in losing credibility (Ibid. 2004). Additionally, the term of public diplomacy is also suggested as a main factor to create nation branding by utilising public diplomacy attributes to create effective guidelines (Ozkan 2013). On the other hand, there are different approaches toward the concept of Public Diplomacy. United State Ambassador Richard Holbrooke insisted that the concept itself is also used mixedly with propaganda “to describe all foreign information activities by stating “Call it public diplomacy, or public affairs, or psychological warfare, or if you really want to be blunt-propaganda.”‘ (Zaharna 222 page number). This description also be supported by Ambassador Kim Andrew Elliott, which he suggested “Public diplomacy is the “softer term for international propaganda” . . .” (Ibid 222 page number). Soft PowerMoreover, It is also unavoidable to discuss about the concept of soft power when exploring the terminology of public diplomacy. The usage of Public diplomacy is a tool for achieving Soft Power. A concept originated by Joseph Nye in 1990 as “power that is based on intangible or indirect influences such as culture, values, and ideology “(Snow 2009 page number). However, it is furtherly described by clear by Nye that Soft power is the ability to ‘attract whether indirectly or directly’ through “persuading others to follow norms and institution of a country, which produce it to achieved expected result” (Brown 2006). The way in which soft power is used to achieve its could be seen as subtle and indirect. Nye described that if the culture and “ideology of the country is appealing to other nations, they will likely accept, and if the country make the power legitimacy to be accepted by international public, they will be less likely to face resistance against their goal without requiring to use hard power” (citation). Nation BrandingThe definition of nation branding has long been varied and there are various researches aims to understand the true meaning of the terminology of Nation Branding. It is defined by Aoki-Okabe as “the construction of a ‘national culture’ by putting across such culture to other countries” (Aoki-Okabe et al., 212). However, it is interpreted by Desatova as an “externally-oriented, business-derived, apolitical strategy aimed at increasing a country’s competitive advantage in the global marketplace” (Desatova 2017) paged number. From these two definitions, Desatova definition have proven to be business orientated comparing to Aoki, which focus more on the area of international relation. Moreover, in order for nation branding achieve its goal, it have to be achieve through six different aspects including: People: It is the people from the country is viewed.Culture: The attractiveness of culture, sports, language, and history.Immigration and capital investment: Opinion regarding to economic and social situation of the country and willingness to invest.Exports: It is how the product of the country is perceived.Governance: The point of view towards the government Tourism: The perception of people towards the country attractiveness. (Kalamova & Konrad, 2010) Bassey observed, that by having “high amount of exports, confidence in investment and large number of tourist, this will make a country gain competitive edge in the global market, and reputation to be well respected in international realm” (Bassey 2012). Furthermore, the terminology of nation branding has always been linked with public diplomacy. Bassey and Szondi has discussed the definition of the word, whether nation branding and public diplomacy is the same concept or not. According to Bassey he insisted that nation branding is not a synonym of public diplomacy but rather as a “progressive outcome of public diplomacy” (Bassey 2012). However, Szondi suggested that nation branding focus on, “one-way communication’ in which information are spread to international audience that mainly focuses on economic aspects”. Whereas, public diplomacy is a “two ways communications in which engage among countries governmental level” (Szondi 2008). Nevertheless, another point of view from Melissen suggest that, in contrast to public diplomacy, nation branding does not involve on ‘the concept of diplomacy’ even though both target on “foreign publics” (Melissen). According to Melissen, she also stated that the differences between nation branding and public diplomacy is branding emphasized on “mobilization of all of a nation’s forces that can contribute to the promotion of its image abroad” but public diplomacy is ‘initiated by practitioners’ (Melissen). In addition, as we explore the reasons behind why nation branding is carried out, Dinnie (2008) insisted that ‘attracting more tourist’, and ‘encouraging exports and foreign investment’ are the main objective of nation branding (Dinnie, 2008).Thailand BackgroundThailand is chosen as an example as it is mid-power nation in the global area with ’36’ rank and a score of 42 for its soft power (Portland 2017). The country is reputable in terms of tourism and culinary in the eyes of foreign audiences, it used these two aspects as a soft power to gain power in global affairs. The goal of Thailand foreign policy is described in Foreign policy statement as “Promotion of good relations with foreign countries based onthe principle that foreign policy is a vital component of overall policy innational administration, whether in the area of politics, economics, or society,by employing integrated diplomatic mechanisms, directly or indirectly, for themaximum benefit of the Thai people such as the protection of Thai nationalsand interests abroad; exchanges in education, culture, trade, human resourcesdevelopment, and broadening perspectives to be more universalistic”. (Foreign policy statement, 2014) However, the reputation of Thailand is also heavily plague by infamous sex tourism, and political instability by having a statistic of 21 coup d’état from 20th to 21th century (Straits Time 2014), which tarnished the perception of Thailand. In order for Thailand to carry out public diplomacy effectively it requires positive nation branding through the uses of technologies, media formats and communication strategies. The two major drawbacks will be discussing in the section below with solutions. DrawbacksPolitical turmoilThe causes of political instability could be traced back to the corrupted nature of Thai politics. Before the recent coup d’état there are clashes between Yingluck government support and People’s Democratic Reform Committee, which caused by class differentiation. The Yingluck government supporter are mainly consisted of rural workers, left wing activists and businessman who perceive that the elite is the threat to democracy, and the People’s Democratic Reform Committee are groups of ultra-nationalists, royalists and urban middle class who is opposed to Yingluck’s brother Thaksin Shinawatra, and Yingluck Shinawatra (Chye 2014 page 1-2). As there is a stark contrast between the two group, would eventually led to fierce confrontation between the two political stakeholders. The confrontation has levelled into a political turmoil, Eventually, the crisis is settle down by the military-coup leading by General Prayuth Chan o-cha, which he later overthrew the elected government of Yingluck Shinawatra turning Thailand into a military ruled country. (Desatova 2017). Following this situation, it is mentioned by Portland that if Thailand governing power is returned back to civilian elected government, it would elevate the “country’s political standing and provide the space for reform it needs to inch closer to the top 30” (Portland 61). However, this seems to be a difficult way for Thailand due to the fact that the Junta government kept postponing the referendum process. Overall, after the political oil, the nation brand is severely damage, this affect the soft power of its country, as it discourages investment from overseas and tourism. Thailand 4.0It is an economic ‘model’ that is launched by NCOP junta government to make Thailand become economical competitive and rebrand Thailand as a well-prepared nation for digital-era, which focuses on “agriculture (Thailand 1.0), light industry (Thailand 2.0), and advanced industry (Thailand 3.0) to tackle challenges include “a middle income trap”, “an inequality trap”, and “an imbalanced trap”” (Royal Thai Embassy 2017). This project could be seen as an effort by the government to develop Thai soft power and nation branding through economic factors, and regain confidence from foreign audiences due to political instability that was caused during the previous years. The objectives of Thailand 4.0 is to promote “Economic Prosperity, Social Well-being, Raising Human Values, and Environmental Protection” . The description is given below.1. Economic Prosperity: to create a value-based economy that is driven by innovation, technology and creativity.2. Social Well-being: to create a society that moves forward without leaving anyone behind (inclusive society) through realization of the full potential of all members of society.3. Raising Human Values: to transform Thais into “Competent human beings in the 21sth Century” and “Thais 4.0 in the first world.4. Environmental Protection: to become a livable society that possesses an economic system capable of adjusting to climate change and low carbon society. The targets are to develop at least 10 cities into the world’s most livable cities, reduce terrorism risk, and increase the proportion (Ibid 2017) Similarly to the aspects of nation branding introduced by Kalamova & Konrad, the 4 objectives is linked with some of the Kalamova & Konrad features. For instance, Economic Prosperity with capital investment and governance, Social Well-being with People Raising Human Values: People, and Environmental Protection: governance. The way in which Thailand tries to promote itself through the use economical soft power to become stand out amongst neighbour countries to raise foreign by proving itself to be technologically superior (Destova 2017). Technologies: The government used both traditional media and new media to reach their audience, which includes internet and television. However, they relied more on new media like internet comparing to television. This could suggest that the main target audience of this program is foreign audience, due to the ability of the internet that make the become reachable to foreign audience, which are more effective comparing to television comparing to television, which is specially targeted on local audience. Media formats: This plan is disseminated through various channels including exhibition, television, websites, and infographics as the main source. There are several exhibition regarding to Thailand 4.0, which includes ‘Digital Thailand BIG BANG’, and ‘Thailand Industry Expo 2017’. These showcase were targeted on foreign investors, and Thai people to explore Thai technological innovation and development through first-hand experienced. For websites, the government have spread information through various websites including the Royal Thai Embassy Washington sites, and the electronic government agency possessed by the government, where detailed pdf, goals of Thailand 4.0, and infographics are included. In addition, through television format, the program is excessively mentioned in a government propaganda show “Returning Happiness to the Nation’s People” targeted for audience who are interested in Thai political situation. Communication strategies: The plan is used through non-verbal, and verbal communication. Non-verbal communication consists of infographic and websites, which regard as unilateral communication that mainly rely on visual communication by requiring audience to personally intake the information. The reasons this strategy could suggest that the government mainly target on audiences, who developed interest towards foreign investment in Thailand, and concern about the economic trend in Thailand that are looking to research for more in-depth information. For the verbal communication, it could be described as both unilateral and bilateral due to the fact. The bilateral aspects is clearly shown through the information delivered by Thai key political figure such as prime minister of Thailand General Prayuth Chan-ocha, and several architect of this program including Somkid Jatrusipitak, which gives opportunity for audiences to ask question and also strengthen audience confidence towards Thai leading to more foreign investment. Whereas, the unilateral of verbal communication is introduced through video and television, which it acts as a prelude for the audience to briefly understand the concept of ‘Thailand 4.0’. Sex TourismSex tourism has been known as one of the main drawback that deteriorated Thai reputation for decades. The definition of sex tourism is a tourist travelling to other countries solely to buy sexual services (Enloe, 1989). Most sex tourism in Thailand take place in brothels, restaurants, bars or massage parlours (R.Hanenberg & W. Rojanapithayakorn 1988). The services may vary from brothels to sex-phone, ping-pong shows, online brides, street prostitution to pornography (Nuttavuthisit, 2006). Several light district in Thailand such as Patpong, Soi Cowboy, Soi Nana, and Pattaya walking street have become the main tourist attraction and landmark for sexual tourist to visit. This reputation even went so far that Bangkok is stated as ‘The capital of Thailand, a place often associated with prostitution’ by the Longman Dictionary of English Language and Culture (1993), and in the Economist, volume 369 (December 2003) also mentioned ‘ throw a stone in Bangkok, and the chances are you will hit a gambler or a brothel goer’. Furthermore, it is also portrayed in the American film “The Hangover 2”, leaving a negative impact on Thai national projection, which eventually leads to current Thai prime minister Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha stating that he is “ashamed” and wanted “to change this perception” ( San Diego Union Tribune 2018). TourismThailand is one of the pioneer country relying on tourism as a GDP generator (Fuller 2017); tourism and hospitality is regarded by Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, Thailand’s minister of tourism and sports, as the “best tool of public diplomacy that Thai currently have at the moment” (Wattanavrangkul). As the country’s reputation is tarnished by sex tourism and human trafficking, there is a need for Thailand to undergo national rebranding in order to drew and divert foreign attention to tourism: the area where they want to use as a main influence towards the foreign audiences. Thailand have heavily used this aspect as a tool in public diplomacy to boost its soft power. The strength of Thai soft power lies within the component of “natural attractions, entertainment, richness of history and culture and characteristics of Thai people” (Nutthavisit 2006). The restless city, glamorous beaches in the southern region Thailand, breathtaking northern mountain scenery and ancient temples and ruins in Ayutthaya and other parts of Thailand, have largely contributed in bringing tourists to Thailand, contributing to “nearly 17% (or $71.4 billion) of the Kingdom of Thailand’s annual GDP (the global average for tourism revenue is 9% of GDP)” (Fuller 2017) . Moreover, ‘The Amazing Thailand’ is the slogan that is launched by the Thai government. According to Pananon, the new slogan focuses on the ‘human aspects of Thailand’ by informing the “Thai people’s way of living and the feeling that visitors experience in the country” (Pananon 2014). The term is supported by the reality of Thai people friendliness, which help strengthen the slogan and make it become more effective. Technologies: Interestingly, Thailand have heavily use various types of technology in promoting tourism such as online media, smartphone application, and tattoo flyers. For online, tourism authority of Thailand has utilised as a source to mainly provide information for audiences, Furthermore, the government also create numbers tourism application for smartphone, which tourist could use to find information about shopping area, attractions, events, and food, making it convenient for international audience to gain information about tourism in Thailand by just a flick of finger. Moreover, the tourism authority of Thailand also used a new type of technology called tattoo flyers to grab attention of potential tourist. To elaborate, the tattoo flyer is a hip design tattoo based on attributes of Thai tourism such as massage, tuk tuk, Thai boxing and natural attractions, that can be scanned with smartphones, and it will redirect users to video stories relating to the design of the tattoo. Media Format: There are various media format that is used by TAT including, social media, video, games, websites, and cultural shows. Social media such as facebook, twitter, and LINE application has given access for TAT to interact with the foreign and local audiences, and also allows audiences to receive information from these social media, by creating two ways communication between the sender and receiver. In addition, according to Bangkok post, after the ‘2011’ flood in Thailand a campaign ran by TAT called ‘Wish you were here’ is launched to regain confidence from foreign audience (Bangkok Post). Moreover, the Tourist authority also launched an online game called ‘Smile Land’ based on Thai festival to inform and educate audiences about Thai festivals and events through the uses of gamification (Ibid). For the websites, ‘tourismthailand.org’ the official site of TAT has provided detailed information regarding to several aspects of tourism in Thailand for views with E-brochures of each region in Thailand. The success of the website platform, could be measure through an overwhelming amount of view with “130-million-page view and attract 20 million views” (Bangkok Post). Furthermore, the investment, economic, and politics is promoted through used of traditional “Khon” show a mask performance in Sydney as a soft power by the culture and foreign affair ministries. Additionally, according to Nutthavuthisit (2006), health-tourism is also promoted in overseas at through workshops and shows by Tourism Authority of Thailand to erase the negativity of the word ‘massage’, which is often associated with massage parlour by informing the audience about ‘history of massaging’ and ‘Thai herbal’, and ‘demonstrating Thai massage’. (Nutthavisit 2006).Communication strategies: The strategies, adopted by the Thai government is centralised on the concept of digital media given the numbers of medium that are used. Through the uses of social media, and application platform this could imply that the government target audience aged from 18 to 35 or Generation Y to Generation Z due to fact that these platforms require digital knowledge in order to optimise its function. Therefore, leading to However, platforms such as official websites and cultural shows, which are one communication, are mainly concentrated on older target audience from baby boomers to Generation Y due to the formality of the communication. By appealing to the eyes of the foreign audience as digitised and convenient, this would likely attract more tourism, bring more income and influence perception towards Thailand in a better light due to higher exposure. FoodThailand is known as one of the first country to use culinary as a tool for public diplomacy by launching a plan called ‘Global Thai’ (Noor Nirwandy, Ahmad Azran Awang). The term Thai food is well-known for its spice and the aromatic, which this make itself included in the CNNtravel list of 50 world best foods readers’ choice, which contains tom yam goong, pad thai, som tam, massaman curry, green curry, Thai fried rice, and moo nam tok (CNNtravel 2017). The effectiveness of gastrodiplomacy could be measured in numbers of Thai restaurants, since by 2013 there are 10,000 restaurants worldwide comparing to the original number before the plan is implemented (The Government Public Relations Department 2011)The objective of Thailand gastrodiplomacy is suggested by The Economist (2002) that the government plans to support Thai foreign restaurant by giving ‘soft loans’, ‘assisting in recruiting Thai chef’, and ‘importing ingredients’ (The Economist 2002). In addition, USC Center on public diplomacy also suggested that Thai government sees this as an opportunity to encourage Thailand ‘economic opportunities’ and to improve its foreign reputation by attracting more tourist to visit Thailand as a ‘culinary destination’ (USC Center on public diplomacy 2015). Additionally, the purpose of Thailand gastrodiplomacy is also discussed by Nutthavisit (2006) that Thailand is using gastrodiplomacy as a tool to rebrand itself as ‘Kitchen of the world’ instead of destination for sex tourism (Nutthavisit 2006). Furthermore, one of the communication strategy for Thai gastodiplomacy is branding. The branding both embrace the concept of slogan and logo, which is “Kitchen of the word” ,and a logo “that consists of a unique Thai symbol, three white blossoms, the English word Thailand, and the phrase “Kitchen of the world” (Zhang 2015). Other strategies according to yotoph include “negotiation with other countries to ease any trade barriers on Thai food and agricultural products, and Ministry of Commerce to issues certificates of “Thai Select” to overseas Thai Restaurants and “Thailand’s Brand” to Thai product companies, that meet the criteria to encourage (no paraphrase) ConclusionThrough exploring Thailand as an example the path in which Thailand is trying to rebrand itself against the negative image that is shown in global arena could be described as effective since they are using their strongest public diplomacy: tourism and culinary combining with various uses of technology, media platforms and communication strategies, to outweigh the image of sex tourism destination and reclaim its positive image in the international realm. Further drawback such as political instability, which directly damaged the nation brand and economy of Thailand is solved through ‘Thailand 4.0’ economic plan. However, the Thai government needs to utilised more communication platform such as social media in order for audience to gain more exposure from the project to spread the image of economic stability.