14 APRIL 2012
TO : Ambassador Bouhlal
From: Ed Gabriel
RE: Delegation program Coordination Process
As we move forward to work with the Embassy on programs that involve guests and delegations from Morocco, it may be useful to propose a process for your consideration, when working with the Embassy to coordinate programs for the visitors.
Most of the visitors are here to promote Morocco as the Leader in the region. This could include issues ranging from women rights, social development, human rights, regionalization, implementation of the new constitution, and Morocco’s progressive interfaith policies, to leaders in women’s economic development, parliamentarians, and others who have a role that contributes to a greater awareness of Morocco’s progressive agenda.
In the past, the first step consisted of a joint meeting between Embassy staff and MAC to review upcoming programs – the vast majority of these programs are initiated by the Embassy staff. Usually, the Embassy staff prepares a scene-setter, which provides the context for the visit – who is coming, the issues that they will address, and the objectives of the visit.
Once the context has been defined, we discuss five items with Embassy staff:
Activities – what is the optimal schedule for the visitors and who is responsible for organizing which events
Logistics – what is needed for the overall program: biographies, press releases, local transportation services, types of events, e.g. meal-related or not, budget issues
Audience – given the proposed events, who are the key audiences for each activity, for example, the Embassy usually has very strong relations with NGOs and may want to host and event targeting NGOs interested in women’s issues. Another example, MAC has strong relations with the private sector and agencies involved in trade and investment promotion, and can take the lead on those types of events. The key is that information is shared and a schedule agreed upon with defined responsibilities for each team.
Media/Communications – primary and secondary objectives are defined and priorities for securing coverage, as well as allocating specific times in the schedule for media relations.
Hill meetings, if any, are also considered and time on the schedule is allocated for Hill meetings along with assignments for who is responsible for which meetings.
Ideally, we will have two to three weeks advance notice of visitors/delegations. This provides sufficient time for the initial organizing meeting and subsequent follow up meetings to finalize details. In the past, we have been able to achieve good results on much shorter notice but it affects media/communications outreach and the ability to target audiences when there is short notice.
For example, will there be any events for Morocco surrounding the World Bank spring meetings next week? Although there is great competition for media attention during that week, there may be opportunities for one on one interviews that could be helpful to Morocco’s messaging.
I apologize for the array of questions and papers being sent to you. I’m sure as we get accustomed to your preferred way of operating, we will not have to bother you as much with such details. Thank you.