Reinhard Seeks to Boost U.S. Image Abroad

CHICAGO DDB Worldwide chairman Keith Reinhard has called on the private sector to help the government improve perceptions of the United States and its citizens around the world.

In closing remarks at the National Travel and Tourism Summit in Washington, D.C., Reinhard issued a call to action for travel and tourism officials to use their creative resources to help combat negative perceptions of Americans.

“This is not about putting America back on a pedestal, but about reforming our approach to the world, influencing behavior first, and only then affecting perception in the long term by our influence and example,” Reinhard said. “Who better to lead this charge, to empower and encourage a global mind-set than the talented men and women of the travel and tourism industry who are truly on the front lines of this issue each and every day.”

Reinhard is also president of Business for Diplomatic Action, a non-partisan, non-profit organization that works to get the private sector’s help in bettering America’s reputation. At the conference, he previewed a Zogby research study in which senior executives from some of the country’s largest companies voiced their concerns about rising anti-American sentiment abroad. On a five-point scale, their concerns rated a 3.5, Reinhard said.

“It is no longer a matter of whether or not this is a concern for U.S. multinational companies, but rather a recognition that this is a growing threat to our economic well-being as well as our national security,” he said. “We would hope at the end of all of our efforts we will see the day when America is once again admired as a popular global leader and responsible global citizen.”