With anti-American sentiment at unprecedented levels around the world, Americans worried about their country's low standing are pushing a grassroots campaign to change foreign perceptions of the United States "one handshake at a time."
The idea is to turn millions of Americans into "citizen diplomats" who use personal meetings with foreigners to counter the ugly image of the United States shown in a series of international public opinion polls...
Parallel to the grassroots effort to spread the message that there is more to the United States than wars, superpower arrogance and tourists clad in shorts, a business-backed group called Business for Diplomatic Action (BDA) is lining up corporate support for public diplomacy by business travelers.
BDA, whose board includes executives from Exxon and McDonald's, last May began distributing a "World Citizen's Guide" to corporate travelers with 16 tips to change the behavior patterns that have earned Americans a boorish reputation in the first place.
[Previously discussed in this space: Well, Duh]
This is not a philanthropic mission. "American companies should care about America's standing in the world, first of all, because sooner or later anti-Americanism is bad for business," BDA President Keith Reinhard said at the Washington meeting. "Corporate America needs a world that welcomes and values American brands. Unfortunately, this is becoming less and less true."
— Larry, Grassroots Monkey, Light Reading