Analyzing How Social Media Affects Local Populations’ Perceptions of Hate Crimes: 

A Deep Dive Into the Department of State’s Current Social Media Approach

Project Overview

Social media has emerged as a critical communication channel for effectively and efficiently sharing with the general public. More importantly, social media competency is an absolute necessity in today’s global diplomatic environment. So, the Department of State hoped to understand how the local populations perceive the institution and US embassies in Russia, China and India (DOS identified these are their main concern). Furthermore, we wanted to understand how these perceptions affect the State Department’s ability to achieve foreign policy goals.


Project Objectives

  • Monitor public perception through social media analysis
  • Utilize social media analytics to drive social media strategy
  • Help DOS understand “social media principles” and best practices


The Team


September – December 2021




Andrei Antonescu

Neha Hamzah

Jeffrey Redman

Project Presentation

Student Reflections

Working on this Diplomacy Lab project was an incredible experience that I will never forget. First, the fact that our ‘client’ was the State Department was beyond my imagination!

Second, I truly was able to utilize all the material I had learned throughout my program to deliver quality results to the client. I looked through all my notes from previous classes and directly pulled concepts from past assignments. I’m so grateful for the experience, the knowledgeable and supportive faculty, and to the program for this opportunity.

Neha Hamzah

Something that was so unique about this project was that from week one, we didn’t know where the project would take us. We knew what our overall objective was, however, and we knew that to accomplish the project objective, we’d have to feel things out as we went. From the beginning, Andrei, Neha, and I knew that to be successful, we’d need to be exceptionally well organized.

Something I didn’t anticipate was just how involved we’d become with the Global Studies/International Relations capstone class that was working on another aspect of this Diplomacy Lab project. We formed a close working relationship with that class and even attended some of their class sessions. This was truly an interdisciplinary team effort!

Jeff Redman

I’ve always been uncomfortable leaning into the unknown. This project not only helped me break out of my comfort zone, but also demonstrated how creative ideas often emerge when we venture outside our comfort zones.

To move the project along, I leaned into my talents of project delegation, scheduling, and relationship-building skills with the student teams, faculty mentors, and our State Department client.

As a team, we experienced the importance of problem-solving skills, decisiveness, and flexibility in achieving the project objectives. This Diplomacy Lab experience reinforced my commitment to a career in communication.

Andrei Antonescu

Project Sponsor

The U.S. Department of State leads America’s foreign policy through diplomacy, advocacy, and assistance by advancing the interests of the American people, their safety and economic prosperity.

Neha, Jeff, and Andrei are outstanding ambassadors for the Corporate and Organizational Communication program and Northeastern University.

Their presentation of recommendations was engaging and masterful.

Brian Lee

U.S. Dept of State Representative