Hyde hot to hype U.S. image


Rep. Henry Hyde (R-Ill.), chairman of the House International Relations Committee, is calling on public relations and marketing executives, Hollywood producers and journalists to brainstorm how to pitch the world on the notion that America is their friend, says Hyde spokesman Sam Stratman.

The committee is putting together a Nov. 14 hearing in an attempt to best answer the question: "How is it that the country that invented Hollywood and Madison Avenue has such trouble promoting a positive image of itself overseas?" The committee also plans to look at whether a structure exists within the U.S. government to "promote an image and do it effectively," Stratman says.

It also has reached out to the Motion Picture Association of America, and its head, Jack Valenti, but Valenti won't be able to testify next week due to scheduling conflicts. MPAA will work with the committee going forward, said a spokeswoman.

The hearing is a follow-up to one held Oct. 10, at which Charlotte Beers, the new Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, suggested she would be willing to launch an international PR campaign to promote America's image overseas. - Paige Albiniak