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Marketing 101: Selling Israel for almost 50 years

1962-1963 US Public Relations Plan (click through to see original document)

American Zionist Council
Committee on Information and Public Relations

The Committee carries on a major part of its work through highly specialized subcommittees composed of professionals in specific areas of activity who volunteer their services to the American Zionist Council. It is the subcommittee chairmen who have been instrumental, for the most part, in mobilizing these experts to serve with them to help interpret Israel to the general American public. In addition, the AZC staff carries on a number of activities on its own without benefit of these volunteers.

1. Magazines
Cultivation of editors.
Stimulation and placement of suitable articles in the major consumer magazines.
Reprinting and distribution of favorable materials which appear in the above publications.
Stimulation of articles in trade and specialized journals.
Liaison with writers resident in Israel via a literary agent in New York for ideas and placement.

2. TV, Radio, Films
The department arranges for talks and interviews on Radio and TV, and servicing of film requests.
It also cultivates leading personalities in these media.
It encourages networks and stations to create programs revolving around Israel.

3. Christian Religious Groups
Cultivation of key religious leaders and groups.
Setting up seminars on Israel for Christian clergy.
Stimulating of positive articles in the Protestant and Catholic press.
Counteraction of hostile material in that press.
Reprints and distribution of favorable materials in the church press.
Stimulation of suitable articles in the journals of the Jewish religious groups.

4. Academic Circles
Support of the American Association for Middle East Studies.
Support of the Inter-University Committee on Israel.
Cultivation of leaders in the academic community.
Stimulation of "Israel Day" on college campuses.
Cooperation with colleges and universities in setting up of seminars on the Middle East.
Monitoring and counteraction of materials in the campus press.
Stimulating of articles in academic journals.
Guidance to student Zionists and other Jewish students on Arab-Israel issues.
Counteraction of hostile faculty and Arab students.
Preparation of materials for elementary and high school faculty.

5. Daily Press
Cultivation of editors.
Stimulation of positive material via syndicated writers, columnists, etc.
Counteraction of hostile material.
Reprinting and distribution of favorable materials.

6. Books
Assistance to publishers in the promotion of worthwhile books.
Promotions of reviews of favorable books.
Distribution of books to public and college libraries.

7. Speakers
The Speakers Bureau will continue to utilize Israelis, American Christians, and American Jews on academic, religious, civic and other platforms around the country for positive presentations on Israel.

8. Liaison with organizations, both on the national and local levels, especially those with an international relations program.
Special liaison with Negro community.

9. Projects and Issues
Issuance of special material and guidance on controversial issues such as Arab refugees, Syrian-Israel situation, etc.
Programming for special occasions such as Yom Haatzmaut, etc.

10. Visitors to Israel
Subsidization to individual public opinion molders to help provide them with an experience in Israel.
Inter-University Committee Study Tour to Israel.
Organize other tours in which public opinion molders will participate.
Provide suitable arrangements in Israel for handling of American visitors.

11. Counteracting the Opposition
The monitoring and counteraction of all activities carried out here by the Arabs, American Friends of the Middle East, and the American Council for Judaism.

12. Miscellaneous
Answering requests for information and providing suitable literature for the many thousands of requests annually received.

And you can see how this marketing plan, 45+ years later, is working out.
As shown by our Media Report Cards, the American press tends to provide extremely distorted coverage of the Israel-Palestine conflict. There are a number of factors that contribute to this troubling pattern of omission and misrepresentation. One of them is bias. In this section, we will provide information about how bias influences media coverage of this topic, and where this bias originates.