On our last day in Brussels we had the great opportunity to visit NATO headquarters. NATO was created in 1949 and after a short stent in Paris, it’s headquarters had been located in Brussels since the 1960′s. There are 28 member countries of NATO while having many partnerships world wide. Not only does NATO keep peace and democracy between North Atlantic countries, NATO also has ongoing operations worldwide such as counter piracy operations in Somalia, issues in Afghanistan, and Turkey/Syria conflicts. The biggest take away I received from NATO’s presentation is that not only do they have a close consensus relationship between NATO member countries, there is also a great deal of relationship building world wide.
With phones and cameras being prohibited the attached photo was taken from our bus being the only photo op. Our visit started out very intense with security and even our bus being checked by police dogs. We were also only given security clearance to a meeting room in the public diplomacy divison.
Our presentation did prove to be very interesting and fulfilling. Led by Alison Hart, Information officer and Tony White, Press Officer for NATO’s press and media section. We also had the great pleasure of having Ms. Oana Lungescu speak to us for a few minutes, as she just came from an imortant meeting and had to leave us for another. Ms. Lungescu is a former lead journalist for BBC and gave great insight to the journalism perspective of media relations for NATO and in any other aspect.
Of our three presenters one key theme seemed to be very important to all. Translate complexity to your public. No matter the situation, you have to “know your organization, your principle, and your audience.”