FCO Public Diplomacy: The Olympic and Paralympic games 2012 - Foreign Affairs Committee Contents

Written evidence from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office


1.  This paper answers the Foreign Affairs Committee's request for information on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Olympics Public Diplomacy Activity. A short annex which describes the FCO's programme of wider activity is attached (Annex A) to provide a broader view of the FCO's Olympic work.

2.  The 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games will throw a spotlight on the UK like no other sporting event in generations. It is equivalent to staging world championships in the 26 Olympic disciplines back to back. There will be an estimated global audience of 4 billion. Around 14,700 participants will attend, with 120 heads of state, 25,000 journalists and 320,000 extra foreign visitors to the UK.


3.  London 2012 will have a profound impact on the UK's international reputation. The Government is therefore determined to ensure that the Olympics are a success and to seize all opportunities which they present.

4.  The Coalition Agreement makes clear that the Government will "work with the Mayor of London to ensure a safe and successful Olympic and Paralympic Games in London in 2012, and urgently form plans to deliver a genuine and lasting legacy". The Prime Minister and Cabinet colleagues have begun working closely together to make this happen. The Prime Minister has said publicly that we must seize "the opportunity of this great decade of sport - and especially the Olympics - to deliver a lasting tourism legacy for the whole country and not just London".

5.  The Foreign Secretary is determined that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office should play a full part in delivering a successful games and tangible international legacy for the UK. Overseas activity will concentrate on securing solid benefits linked to our foreign policy priorities: security, prosperity and strong bilateral relations and that these priorities will fit within the broad coalition government Olympic priorities.

6.  The Foreign Secretary and Jeremy Browne, the Olympics and Public Diplomacy Minister, are giving priority to this topic. They have looked carefully at the work which has already been carried out. They recognise that some good foundations are in place, but the FCO now needs to build on them.

7.  In order to drive forward activity across the FCO's network, Ministers have commissioned a structured 18-month engagement strategy setting out priority countries and milestones.

8.  This work is well advanced. We look forward to sharing it with the Committee before Jeremy Browne's evidence session on 10 November. Our current thinking on priority countries is at Annex B. We will work with Diaspora communities in the UK as part of this work. We will be focusing on the following objectives:

  • National interest: To contribute to UK foreign policy goals by using the profile of the Olympics to promote British culture and values at home and abroad. To cement Britain's reputation as a valuable bilateral partner and a vibrant, open and modern society, a global hub in a networked world.
  • Prosperity: To bolster the UK economy, increase commercial opportunities for British business in target countries, and secure high value inward investment.
  • Security: To enhance our security by harnessing the global appeal of the Olympics, particularly among the young, to reinforce values of tolerance, moderations and openness.
  • Cross-Government approach: To work seamlessly with other Government Departments and partners, mobilising the powerful asset of the FCO's unique network of Posts to deliver the greatest international impact for our strategy

9.  We will achieve government and FCO objectives on prosperity, security and bilateral relations as follows:


10.  We will work closely with UK Trade & Investment (UKTI), on activities which reinforce our message of Britain as an open, welcoming, creative and dynamic society with unparalleled skills and expertise. We will use the Games to help us drive up exports and create opportunities in wider markets, particularly using the "Host2Host" agreements with other hosting nations (Russia and Brazil) to deliver the growth/prosperity objectives.

11.  The Games will provide a catalyst for developing new businesses, encouraging existing businesses to look to grow and export to wider markets and as magnet for high value foreign investment. As well as jobs, skills and growth created as a result of firms supplying directly to the Games, there will be an opportunity to project the capability of UK companies in delivering major projects, on time and on budget, to the watching world. This is key to a sustained business legacy as companies go on to compete in international markets.

12.  Throughout, we will prioritise activity designed to project Britain, in the Foreign Secretary's words, as "a home for enterprise, wealth creation, new ideas and opportunity". This will include targeting relevant business audiences for exposure to our film, created in collaboration with the Olympic Delivery Authority, of the Olympic Park build. It clearly demonstrates the passion, technical expertise and ingenuity available in the UK. We will also instruct Posts to work with the international UKTI network and with business contacts locally to involve them in events, e.g. capitalising on the interest in London 2012 to secure as much engagement as possible with key commercial contacts by pursuing their involvement in key events or to provide sponsorship to support Post activities.

13.  We will keep special focus on UKTI's key industry sectors (including low carbon, creative industries, life sciences and advanced engineering) and 17 key markets, which are reflected in our priority country list. Examples of activity could include using the Queen's Birthday Party and other diplomatic events creatively to spotlight innovative British companies active in or seeking an entry to local markets. We will also arrange for FCO Ministers to accompany senior foreign visitors to visit the Olympic Park to see British construction and engineering expertise at first hand.


14.  We will work closely within the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and across Whitehall to find ways to increase the security of the UK. We will do this by confounding negative and sometimes malicious stereotyping which can feed into radicalisation and hostility towards us. This work plays into the Government's "Prevent" counter terrorism strategy.

15.  An example of work in this area is a short film we have produced about Mushtaq Ahmed, England cricket coach and idolised in his native Pakistan. Mushtaq speaks positively and powerfully about his experience of life as a muslim in the UK. We expect this film, marketed over the internet, to reach segments of Pakistani society - particularly a young male audience - who would be hard to reach by other means.


16.  London 2012 offers an opportunity to convey an image of 21st century modern Britain across the world. London 2012-related activity will be prioritised in the communications plans of Embassies in key countries. This will involve working particularly with priority Posts to make sure that we identify and implement projects which will help them to target their key audiences and contacts with focused, clear messaging about the UK, in line with their wider strategies for engaging with their host countries.

17.  We will take advantage of 2012-related initiatives such as Pre-Games Training Camps to forge bilateral ties between regions around the UK and the country of the national team coming to train in that area (UKTI are already using this connection to encourage better trade understanding and market knowledge and to showcase what the UK regions have to offer). We will also create bonds with countries which are part of the International Inspirations programme, through which the UK aims to bring sport to 12 million children in 20 countries.

18.  Our plan will focus on concrete activities in Embassies in certain key countries, as well as London-led work, in particular with LOCOG. We will give particular attention in our work in the UK to Diaspora communities and the powerful leverage they can apply.


19.   In May 2009, the FCO approved the following objectives for public diplomacy work on London 2012.

  • To use London 2012 as a catalyst for changing perceptions of the UK worldwide (see paragraph 20 below)
  • To use London 2012 and these new perceptions to increase the UK's influence, and thus to assist in the delivery of the FCO's objectives (focussing sharply on the trade and prosperity agendas in line with the new government's priorities).
  • To support Public Diplomacy Partners in the effective achievement of their own strategic objectives
  • To energise and excite the FCO network with new ways of working.

20.   In 2009, the FCO's Public Diplomacy Group reviewed all available research into the UK's reputation amongst international audiences. We concluded that the UK's overall reputation worldwide was strong - ranking 4th out of 50 in countries in the 2010 Anholt Nation Brand Index. The UK was seen as fair, innovative, diverse, confident and stylish. However, negative images still persisted which painted Britain as arrogant, stuffy, old-fashioned and cold. We used these findings to identify the key themes about modern Britain we wanted to project overseas in order to overcome false impressions that acted upon our prosperity and political influence. We want to showcase modern Britain as the open (welcoming, diverse, tolerant), connected (through our involvement in the UN and G20, politically, geographically, in terms of trade and travel), creative and dynamic place it really is.

21.  This research and strategy work led to the development of the "See Britain (Through My Eyes)" campaign - an exercise in soft power with the aim of delivering, through our 243 Posts, a programme of public diplomacy events and activities that invite audiences around the world to take a fresh and positive look at Britain. This ongoing campaign will continue to promote British values, showcasing the "Big Society" agenda as well as positioning the UK as an ideal bilateral partner and a nation with an enduring status in international affairs. We will be able to refresh old relationships and start conversations with new audiences and opinion formers.

22.  This campaign was also an opportunity to highlight best practice and encourage innovation in Public Diplomacy work. Unlike other FCO communications campaigns which have focused on particular policy issues or regions, to reflect this global event, this was conceived as an initiative for Posts everywhere. However, we identified a number of strategically-important countries where we saw particular potential to pursue British interests and where we aimed to work most proactively. This list comprised countries which were influential at a global level and/or on particular policy issues. It also factored in considerations such as levels of trade and tourism, and how negative their view of the UK was, measured by nation branding surveys. This list, along with emerging priorities for the new government, provides the basis for our current thinking on priority countries at Annex B.

23.  We have created a series of 30 four-minute films using people whose testimony about Britain will resonate with local audiences. They feature UK residents like the heart surgeon Sir Magdi Yacoub and the Sudanese born newsreader Zeinab Badawi, speaking about what Britain has meant to them. They are being released through an online, digital campaign which began in July but will also be used by Posts around the world as a focus for events and activities. The first film to be released online featured Japanese judo star Kosei Inoue. In addition to being used by our Embassy in Tokyo as a focus for a major event, it has secured over 5,000 hits on the FCO's YouTube channel. A list of subjects for these films and DVDs of sample films are attached (Annex C).

24.  We have focussed on symbolic actions. For instance, 55 Posts and a total of 3,800 runners took part in the 2010 Sport Relief mile, raising money for local charities. The run in Guangzhou, South China, raised enough money to build a learning skills room for a school for children with severe learning disabilities, and gained coverage on over 40 websites across China and Taiwan with a combined readership of 40 million. In a separate initiative, at very little cost, the Jerusalem Consulate sponsored a female street car racing team in Palestine. The drivers sported British branding, and the team was covered extensively on local television, and in daily and monthly news and leisure print media as well as online. It has gained a total audience in excess of 300 million at a cost of less than £10,000. A dual language Facebook page has already gathered 2,500 friends.

25.  Working through a core London team, we have supported and encouraged local creativity by Posts and Public Diplomacy partners overseas. The team provides central coordination eg working to set up partnerships with other organisations, liaising with Public Diplomacy Partners and Olympic organisations, and creating and distributing material to use on the ground (films; scripts and lines for use in press articles, blogs and websites etc). We have created a range of methods to communicate with staff and PD partners about the campaign, and to share good ideas and best practice, included the dedicated "Collaborate" extranet site. This innovative approach has attracted interest from other Departments. It has over 800 members (Annex D).

26.  Reaching the largest audiences for our initiatives through carefully developed media and digital engagement plans. For example, a social networking campaign around the Shanghai Expo, featuring the British band Keane, achieved double its targets with 169,000 visitors and 1m page views.

27.  Using partnership to reinforce and further extend our messages and audience reach. We have sought out a wide range of non-traditional partners whose activities, messages and potential audiences complement and overlap our own. Examples include UK Sport, the Edinburgh Festivals, and the National Theatre: Mexico City and Athens have run successful pilots using screenings of live National Theatre performances as a hook to engage with key local audiences.

28.  Between autumn 2009 and April 2010, 117 initiatives were developed in 84 countries through 32 separate grants. Further information on examples of campaign activity can be found in Annex E.


29.  As we get closer to 2012, one of our core "good news" stories that can be told is that of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympics Games themselves. We have worked closely with the London 2012 Organising Committee in our preparations, and emphasised the specific opportunities and appetite for the FCO and its Public Diplomacy Partners to spread messages about the Games through our unique global network.

30.  Planned initiatives with an explicit London 2012 link include:

31.  A TV documentary on the building of the Olympic Park, made in partnership with the Olympic Delivery Authority, which was launched to UK public diplomacy and Olympics partners by Jeremy Browne in September 2010 and will be publicly launched by the Foreign Secretary on November 10th. The film is being actively marketed to TV networks worldwide - at the distributor's cost - to ensure that the remarkable story of the sustainable master plan for the Park, and the spectacularly successful progress on build, is told worldwide for the first time. The potential impact on British reputation in engineering, construction, design and sustainability is enormous. The expected global audience will be between 150-300 million. We also intend to continue to use this as a key promotional tool right through 2011, ensuring, for instance, that it is shown in our Embassies to influential people from government, business, tourism and other opinion formers.

32.  The FCO team have also secured the ongoing services of a trio of campaign Olympic Ambassadors. Sir Steve Redgrave and Lady Grey-Thompson, as well as our leading male Paralympian, blind swimmer Chris Holmes. In 2009 Baroness Grey-Thompson toured Israel, Jordan, Palestine and Lebanon on an experimental ambassador visit. A full programme of meetings with Government ministers, Paralympic associations, business audiences and young people included a first ever debate on the rights of the disabled at the UNESCO palace in Beirut. The highly successful visit obtained media coverage on an international and local level, with a total reach of over a million people (see Annex E). We will seek to replicate this and aim to continue to make the most of our Ambassadors' participation and energy. Lord Coe will play an important role in delivering our 2012 messages abroad. We are exploring how best to do this with him.

33.  Pre-Games Training Camps also offer opportunities to build bilateral activity, encouraging closer links between the home country of a national team and the UK. The Japanese team will be based in Loughborough, for example. Our Embassy in Tokyo in conjunction with the regional UKTI team has already been vigorously taking forward opportunities to build links between Japan and the East Midlands Loughborough region. We expect it to produce solid opportunities for Public Diplomacy work around links between schools in the two countries and new ways of promoting trade links.

34.  We are working closely with UK Sport and the British Council on public diplomacy work around the "International Inspirations" programme. This formed part of London's winning bid in Singapore. It pledged that a UK Games would "…reach young people all around the world and connect them to the inspirational power of the Games so they are inspired to choose sport". It aims to give 12 million children in 20 countries access to high quality and inclusive physical education, sport and play. Countries where the programme is active include Azerbaijan, Zambia, India Bangladesh, Jordan, Mozambique, Nigeria, and South Africa.

35.  We will use friends of the UK, eg ex-Chevening Fellows and Scholars to build a body of authoritative voices with strong links and motivation to become involved in our efforts overseas. We will continue to consult with communications specialists, seeking their expertise in no or low cost ways to refresh and challenge our strategy.

36.  Based on successful activities planned around Beijing in 2008, the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics and, most recently, in Tokyo and New York in July 2010 to mark the 'two years to go' point, we will make greater use of regular events such as Queen's Birthday Parties, receptions and trade events, by effective media planning and strong prosperity and security messaging. We will target guest lists for such events to make the most of the Olympics impact.

37.  We will continue to provide energetic leadership to our Public Diplomacy Partners who meet monthly and include representatives from UKTI, British Council, Visit Britain, UK Sport, LOCOG, the Government Olympic Executive, and the Mayor of London's office. An organogram showing the bodies involved in Olympics Public Diplomacy work is at Annex F.

38.  Digital diplomacy enables us to maintain a simultaneous global and local digital presence. We will further our use of social network media and viral marketing (eg through dedicated twitter and facebook feeds). We will be uploading new short films every 2-4 weeks, pegging particular subjects and themes to milestones in the relevant country. This approach offers high levels of interactivity and insight, fed back at a faster pace. The global public can engage in two way dialogue - an approach proven to generate trust.

39.  We have worked across Government and with LOCOG to agree a unique licensing deal for the Olympics logo. This includes a "toolkit" of striking London 2012-branded imagery and materials that reflect our campaign messages. It has been approved for use by FCO, UKTI, Visit Britain and the British Council around the world. It will be an essential component in allowing us to harness the power of London 2012 to secure economic advantages for the UK as host nation, build important tourist markets, and boost British reputation.


40.  The Olympic legacy will not only provide a springboard for British trade and investment for many years beyond the games; the Games will also create a "soft power" legacy, building a wide network of influential relationships and will have a lasting effect on increased British influence.

41.  2012 is also the year of the Diamond Jubilee, bringing even greater attention to the UK particularly from the Commonwealth, but also from countries vital to British interests such as the USA.

42.  Looking beyond we will see Glasgow host the Commonwealth Games in 2014, and potentially England hosting the World Cup in 2018. We will be ready to make strong positive connections between this and the London Olympics on 2 December when an announcement is made in Zurich.

43.  We will organise our work to exploit particular opportunities and milestones, for example around 500 days and one year to go to the 2012 Games, around the Olympic torch ceremonies, as well as continuing to make use of and highlight non-Olympics related activities which fit our campaign objectives. A plan of these activities can be found in Annex G.


44.  The core FCO Public Diplomacy Campaign team in London consists of a D6 (Home Civil Service Grade 7) Team Leader position, a C4 (HEO) and B3 (EO) officer.

45.  The FCO employed, on a short term basis, a small number of outside specialists and a PR agency to help set up the campaign. They provided expertise in pulling together a strategic vision, messages and a central story around them. They worked with film production companies to create powerful audio-visual materials; set up partnerships and processes; and helped us to manage virtual and online communities to build networks among FCO and Public Diplomacy partner staff at Posts across the world.

46.  For FY 2009-10, the campaign was allocated a budget of £1.7 million which was used to cover contractor costs, agency fees, creation of collateral (especially films) and was accessed by Posts to bid for funding to take forward local public diplomacy activity. This separate funding stream was cut as part of the FCO's contribution of £55 million of cuts for the emergency budget in June 2010. The work stream continues to have access to wider Public Diplomacy funds to support communications work at Post but the accent is now very much on no or low cost ways of doing business as well as increased use of commercial sponsorship.


47.  In coming months, we will build on the strong foundations of our 2012 Public Diplomacy work to greatly increase our worldwide efforts to provide strong delivery of our goals. We are in good shape to do so.

48.  Despite the current economic circumstances, the London 2012 Games offer an exciting opportunity which we are strongly placed to seize. We can use them to secure a lasting legacy for British reputation overseas and a big fillip to our trade and investment activity.

49.  We welcome the Committee's interest in this work and look forward to its recommendations.


A - FCO Olympic Programme strands

B - Priority countries[1]

C - List of "See Britain" short film subjects

D - "Collaborate" site

E - Case Study examples of activity

F - Organogram of PD Partners group

G - London 2012 PD Project Milestones

Annex A



The London 2012 Co-Ordination unit (Senior Responsible Officer: Sir Alan Collins) oversees the FCO's contribution to the Games. It keeps FCO activity on track and provides assurance to London Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) and Government Olympic Executive (GOE) of the FCO's ability to deliver, through the London 2012 Board.

There are three significant parts to the London 2012 Programme: Direct Impact, Opportunity and behind the scenes work. Games time operations are being developed to cover crisis management and Communications.

The Programme

Jeremy Browne is FCO Minister for the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympics Games.

Sir Alan Collins, currently Director General for Trade and Investment USA, former High Commissioner to Singapore (instrumental in the original bid) and international adviser to the London 2012 bid delegation, is the London 2012 International Legacy Champion for the FCO, UKTI and BIS. He is also in charge of strategic direction of London 2012 work in the FCO and UKTI.

Stakeholders: There are four main London 2012 partners who together comprise the Olympic Board: the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG); the Greater London Authority (GLA); the British Olympic Authority (BOA); and HMG. Government work on the Olympics is co-ordinated by the Government Olympic Executive in DCMS. Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (supported by Hugh Robertson MP, Minister for the Olympics), oversees the work of the GOE and sits on the Board for HMG.

The FCO London 2012 Board sits on a bi-monthly basis and is chaired by Sir Alan Collins. Stakeholders and the OGC sit on the board as do those responsible for delivery.

Direct Impact Role

The FCO plays an important role in the delivery of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympics Games. The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and the Government Olympic Executive rely on the FCO to receive and manage an estimated 180 heads of state for the opening and closing ceremonies. Indirectly the FCO will, through posts overseas and UKBA, deliver visa services to Olympic tourists and Olympic Family members who fail to obtain their accreditation for a variety of reasons.

The key departments responsible for these activities are:-

Protocol Department:

  • Protection arrangements for Heads of State/Government (current estimated maximum of 180) and logistical support for many other VIPs who have their own country protection staff but are not receiving UK close protection
  • Managing Diplomatic Co-ordination (ie LOCOG, Protocol and GOE)
  • Engagement with security partners to scope the requirements for the security of the Heads of States/Government and ensure appropriate delivery

Migration Department

  • Communicating entry requirement at political level to posts and to government

Liaising with UKBA on the accreditation process and entry into the UK

We also work in close collaboration with:


  • Promoting UK PLC in collaboration with UKTI - an important area of work. More detail given at the end of this annex.

Behind the Scenes

Press Office

  • Passing on Games related information to the foreign press
  • Handling media around the intensive international engagements/meetings that will take place in the run-up to and during the Olympics

Counter Terrorism Directorate

  • Stakeholder engagement with the Met and Home Office, to ensure the international angles are fully covered on counter-terrorism and security

Estate &Security Directorate

  • Ensure protective security of staff, buildings and information leading up to and during the Games

Geographic Directorates

  • Engagement with relevant internal and external stakeholders to ensure international communities concerns/requirements are addressed e.g. co-ordination of bilateral meetings with Protocol, discussion of visa concerns with UKBA etc.

Business Continuity

  • Protection of the FCO's critical work to ensure resilience within directorates for Games

Games Time Operations - Crisis/Incident Management

During the Games the FCO will have an incident management team in place to cover all eventualities that have an International angle to them. Planning is at an early stage but developing well.

In preparation for Incident/Crisis management the FCO has been building strong relations with the Metropolitan Police, LOCOG and GOE to ensure that the flow of information from the Games Time Communication Centre is timely and accurate. The FCO has a secondee based in the Metropolitan Police who leads on security and policing at major international events.

The incident management team will be based in a designated crisis management area within the FCO and has access to dedicated technology and communications.

We envisage there being a need to keep senior officials and ministers and up to date on incidents that take place and ensure good communication links to our Heads of Missions.

To ensure that this important piece of work is realised the FCO are building on their crisis management experience overseas. The crisis management teams will consist of members that have crisis management experience and are able to add context geographically and politically. It is intended that these teams include the Press Office and communication specialists.

Trade and Investment Activity

Trade and investment is an important part of the economic legacy of the Games. The international spotlight on the UK offers significant potential for promoting the UK as an attractive place for high level investment, international growth, and as a trading partner for years to come.

The Games and the international exposure they will attract will help drive inward investment into the UK and deliver new business partners for UK firms through highlighting UK expertise in delivering international events of this scale The Australians successfully enhanced this sector's ability to promote itself internationally and win supply contracts at global events such as Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008.

UKTI's Host2Host programme is helping to develop trade links through MOU's (essentially trade agreements) with host and bid cities of Olympic Games and other major sporting events. The programme aims to increase supply opportunities in global markets and offer opportunities both for increasing investment in the UK and Increasing UK exports. Current Host2Host partners include Brazil, Russia, South Africa, Canada and Singapore; other partners are being pursued.

We know from Sydney that hosting the Games can provide a tremendous incentive for high value inward investment: New South Wales attracted Aus$600 million in new business investment from the Sydney Games in 2000. Similarly, the Canadian Government believes that its hosting of the Winter Games has created, and will continue to create, a significant boost to inward investment into the country, though it is too soon to put a figure on the value of this.

Many of the 2012 sponsors are overseas owned and employ a significant number of British workers in the UK. Such companies include GE, Coca Cola, Panasonic, Samsung, McDonalds, EDF, UPS, Adidas, Atos Origin, Omega, BMW and Cisco. This demonstrates the value of FDI into the UK, not purely for the support of the Games but for the longer term sustainable employment that overseas owned companies create.

Lancaster House: UKTI/FCO are planning a business hub at Games time to promote UK industry and inward investment and are looking at various venues which would resonate with target audiences.

Annex C

Name Nationality/Country Profession/SectorSee Britain messages/themes Date of Launch + Reason
Kosei InoueJapanese Olympic Judo Gold MedallistMulticultural


Forward Looking

27 July 2010

2 years to go

Jonathan MillsAustralian Director Edinburgh International Festival Modern




Arts and culture

16 August 2010

First weekend of Edinburgh festival

Mushtaq AhmedPakistan Cricket Legend

Spin Bowling coach of England Cricket team


Multi- faith




First week of September

[postponed due to Pakistan floods]

Lucelia Taranto RodriguesBrazil Architecture Lecturer Nottingham University Warm/welcoming



Green Energy

Forward Looking



28/29 September

Coincide UKTI trade event in Rio (sports)

Andre CamaraBrazilPhotographer Resilience




28/29 September to coincide with Trade Event
David SableUSDirector NT Live Accessible/Democratic




October 2010

Start of NT Live new season

Sir Magdi YacoubEgyptian Heart Transplant SurgeonNHS



Medical Innovation

Forward Looking

End of October
Michel TarideFrance CEO Hertz EuropeMulticultural




Major Ajor Nana Twumasi- AnkrahGhana Squadron Leader Household Cavalry UK Military Modern




Freedom of Speech


Giovanna TinettiItaly AstrobiologistScientific/Innovation


Forward Looking



Troika fashion designers

Sebastien Noel

Conny Freyer and Eva Rucki

SN - France

CF - Germany

ER - Germany

DesignersFashion expertise





Bonnie GreerUSAPlaywright/social commentator

Vice Chairman British Museum




International Hub

Reem AlasadiIraqFashion Designer Sustainability


Fashion pioneers




Zeinab BadawiSudanNewsreader


Freedom of expression

Internationally focussed

Strong Democracy

TBA BBC events

World Press Day

Raymond BlancFrance Chef Pro-business






Launch of new TV series

Camila BatmanghelidjhIran Social Entrepreneur

Charity head


Open Minded





Mona SiddiquiPakistan Academic



Forward Thinking




Freedom of Expression

Ching He HuangChina Chef


Embracing Change






Carlos AcostaCubaBallet Dancer Creative




TBA around one of his productions
Dr Claudia BauseweinGermany Palliative Care Doctor



Leading research



Manoj BadaleIndiaBusinessman Entrepreneurship



Equal opportunity


UKTI Announcement of Business Embassy?
Prince SeeisoLesotho Ambassador in UKWarm/Friendly



Sir Anwar PervezPakistan Chairman BestwayEqual Opportunities



Shadia MansourPalestine Hip Hop ArtistMulticultural

Freedom of Expression



Alina IbragimovaRussia ViolinistMulticultural

Freedom of Expression



Polly CourticeSouth Africa Director Cambridge Programme for Industry Sustainable Development

Open minded

Forward Thinking

UK personalities
Kwame Kwei-ArmahUKActor/Playwright Energetic



Sir Steve RedgraveUK Former Olympian

Rowing Ambassador





Baroness Tanni Grey ThompsonUK ParalympianEqual Opportunities

Forward Thinking




Annex D


A password protected extranet community for our staff and Partners' staff to access materials, share ideas and showcase achievements.[2]

Both the number of members and amount of activity on the collaborate site has steadily risen since it went live in November 2009. It now boasts an online community of 782 members where staff showcase their achievements and draw inspiration from See Britain activity taking place worldwide.

  • A central repository of 'See Britain' material, films, image libraries, toolkits
  • 5mins 26secs - average time spent on site
  • 69% return visits
  • 34 discussion groups

Annex E



Speed Sisters is a project conceived and managed by the British Consulate in Jerusalem with funding and support from the See Britain Strategic Communications campaign. Car racing is a relatively new but hugely popular sport in Palestine while Britain is recognised as a country that has real expertise and credibility in this area. Our Consulate in Jerusalem spotted the opportunity to support a project in car racing and so reach out to a different Palestinian audience and show the UK in a different light ie as a modern, cool, relevant, inclusive and collaborative country with citizens who share similar values and passions to Palestinians.


  • Challenge negative perceptions about the UK in Palestine (recent results from the Gallup World View survey state that 70% of Palestinians disapprove of UK leadership).
  • Present the UK as socially inclusive, open and collaborative. Capitalise on improved perceptions of the UK brought about by our support for the Speed Sisters project, to re-frame policy conversations and enhance the UK's reputation.
  • Support objective 1 of the Occupied Palestinian Territories country business plan - specifically to 'Implement an engagement and communication strategy that enhances the UK and international community's reputation as honest brokers'.
  • Support wider campaigning for MENA Partners for Progress.


The target audience is young Arabs particularly those involved in rally driving and motor sports and Arab women.


During 2010 the See Britain campaign provided financial and practical support to a female Palestinian car racing team who had struggled to compete due to a lack of funding. FCO support funded improvements to a donated car, provision of a racing kit and a training event in which two world class female rally drivers visited Palestine to train the Speed Sisters and share knowledge and expertise. This training was an important aspect of the project as people from different cultures and backgrounds united in their passion for motorsport. UK sponsorship was made clear from the start with British flags adorning the team's car and helmets.


The Speed Sisters have competed in three races so far, which have been well-received by the media with coverage on all major western and Arab news channels, in British and Arab women's magazines and over 1,000 online and print articles. "Look", a UK female glossy magazine, with a circulation of over 300,000 also featured the story. Media coverage has been entirely positive and has reached an audience in excess of 300 million. The two face book pages "UK in Jerusalem" and "Speed Sisters" have attracted over 3,000 friends and continue to grow. There is a constant flow of positive commentary (approximately 300 interactions per week) and thanks for British support.

We have also funded a documentary that is still in production but will be shown on UK and Arab television and will be distributed digitally.

The project has impacted on post relationships with local interlocutors. The Governor of Ramallah, the head of the Olympics committee and the Minister of Sport and Youth have attended racing events and expressed support. Prime Minister Salam Fayyad is aware of the project and thanked the UK at the Queen's Birthday Party. The project has opened up a more nuanced, rational and reasonable discussion with Arab youth, whose previous attitude to the UK was dogmatic and uninformed. This change in perception contributes in part to the re-framing of policy conversations around counter-terrorism and conflict resolution.


The team have completed the planned races but momentum and interest in the Speed Sisters continues to grow. Palestinian businesses have offered further sponsorship to help guarantee the project's future but the FCO intends to remain involved in this project and maximise the dividends for the UK's reputation.



Sport Relief, the sporting branch of Comic Relief, is a global initiative, which harnesses the power and passion of sport to raise money to help vulnerable people in the UK and the world's poorest countries. The 2010 Sport Relief Mile involved hundreds of thousands of people across the world, running one, three or six miles in aid of charity. Sir Steve Redgrave, Ambassador for the See Britain through my eyes campaign, challenged the FCO and Public Diplomacy Partners to take part: "I can't think of a better way for Britain to show how much it cares about the world and its problems than for those who represent us overseas - all of YOU - to take part in this year's Sport Relief mile in March".


The objectives of the Sport Relief mile were to:

  • Enhance perceptions of the UK worldwide, challenge stereotypes of Britain as cold and stuffy and present the UK as innovative, dynamic, lively and passionate about international partnership
  • Present the UK as charitable on an international and local level
  • Energise and excite the FCO network with new ways of working by holding a worldwide event which involved all Embassy staff and contributed to the FCO's "One Team" approach


55 posts participated in the Sport Relief Mile between 19 and 21 March in a variety of weather conditions - colleagues in Kazakhstan ran in the snow whilst those in Oman ran along the beach in a temperature of 30 degrees.

Posts received a Sport Relief Mile 'event pack' which included information on how to organise the event, some equipment such as start and finish banners and advice on how to maximise press coverage.

Posts collaborated with Public Diplomacy Partners including the British Council, UKTI and Visit Britain in organizing their event. A Sport Relief group on the London 2012 hub 'Collaborate' was set up, which attracted over 180 members, and which provided a discussion / advice forum and other supporting materials.


Based on data received from posts, £43,000 was raised for 55 charities, involving 3,871 participants. The event attracted major media attention, with tens of millions of people potentially able to access information about the event through newspapers and websites. Charities to benefit included Sport Relief, Animal Friends League, Abdullah Children's Hospice, the Norwegian Red Cross, Ronald MacDonald House and the Chilean earthquake appeal.


  • In Guangzhou, South China, the mile raised enough money to fully furnish a living skills room for disabled children in a local project.
  • In Kuwait, the event raised £1,080 and received unprecedented media coverage for a public diplomacy initiative from major Kuwaiti papers and the daily news bulletins of three TV broadcasters. Post estimate 222, 000 people received information directly from these sources.
  • In Seoul, South Korea, the event was covered by Yonhap News (the Korean equivalent of Reuters), the only state-run wire news service agency in Korea.
  • In Beirut, Lebanon, the mile was covered by most of the major daily papers, including Al Mustaqbal newspaper and Al Massira magazine, with a combined circulation of 10,000.
  • In Colombo, Sri Lanka, the event attracted the attention of two TV channels and three English language papers and raised £1,724 for the Foundation of Goodness.


The Sport Relief Mile resonated with posts and prompted a surge in activity and enthusiasm worldwide. Posts commented that the event encouraged them to explore new ways of engaging with locals and prompted further See Britain activity. It also raised staff morale being a voluntary, fun activity held out of the office. Many posts plan to hold a second Sport Relief event in 2012, which would tie in to London 2012 activity.

Posts used the See Britain collaborate site to showcase their events. This increased use of the site and further increased See Britain's exposure and audience. 



The South African Sports Confederation and the Olympic Committee approached the British High Commission in Pretoria, seeking a venue to launch the eight corporate sponsors for their London 2012 Paralympic Team. Post capitalised on the visit by the Lord Mayor of the City of London to host an event with UKTI for business leaders and local media contacts. The event was themed the "Road to London" during which the sponsors' logos were revealed by the SASCOC President on the windows of a replica modern London bus.


The objectives of the visit were to:

  • Challenge the perception of Britain as a being outdated, old fashioned and steeped in colonial baggage
  • Maintain the UK's "market share" of influence with South Africans,
  • Promote the UK as open, creative, connected and dynamic


In line with its broader Communications Strategy, post targeted the following sectors:

  • Business leaders - highlighting that the British economy was open for business, hungry for creative new activity and connected to wider European markets
  • Media network - illustrating that the UK is a dynamic world leader in sporting excellence and the proud host of a range of major events
  • Youth- promoting the core values of the campaign
  • General public - challenging existing media perceptions that regularly portray the UK as a dated, colonial master rather than a "Premier League" partner.


In partnership with UKTI and Visit Britain, post worked with a local production company to mix dynamic images of the UK with an inspiring soundtrack to create a bespoke promotional DVD of the UK. The aim was to produce a balanced portrayal of contemporary and ancient Britain - the soundtrack was classical with a modern twist. The DVD, branded "UK, be a part of it" had a sporting theme promoting British excellence across all parts of the UK.

The DVD can be viewed at: http://ukinsouthafrica.fco.gov.uk/en/news/press-centre/080-Media-library/video-gallery/uk-be-part-of-it

The event was compared by Carol Manana, co-host of the FIFA World Cup 2010 Draw, and was attended by approximately 150 guests. The President of SASCOC, the Lord Mayor of the City of London and South African Paralympic athletes Hilton Langenhoven and Natalie du Toit (inset) attended the event.


Feedback on the DVD was positive with respondents commenting that they felt more patriotic having watched it. In response to the question "Has the DVD made you think differently about the UK?" 60% of respondents answered "no", but said that the DVD reinforced what they already knew to be true of the UK. It is hoped that subsequent events, involving a different audience demographic, would bring an 80-90% positive response.

The media coverage produced a solid impression of a modern dynamic Olympic event. All of the TV coverage used footage from the DVD. The Mayor of London and swimmer Natalie Du Toit were interviewed in front of the DVD branding. Approximately 60% of all print coverage had some reference to the DVD .

The DVD and associated pocket guide cost just over £7,000 while reception and other costs were borne by other parties.


Since the premiere of the DVD in March 2010, it has been put on the post's website and on You Tube. It was shown at functions ahead of and during the 2010 World Cup. Post will continue to use the DVD and the images/design in other appropriate events / contexts.

Annex F

Annex G


1   Not printed: classified. Back

2   Images not printed. Back

3   Images not printed. Back

4   Images not printed. Back

5   Images not printed. Back

previous page contents next page

House of Commons home page Parliament home page House of Lords home page search page enquiries index

© Parliamentary copyright 2011
Prepared 6 February 2011