There are 6 'Public Purposes' to the BBC around education, citizenship and such like. One of the six is a clear soft power aim.
"Bringing the UK to the world and the world to the UK: The BBC will build a global understanding of international issues and broaden UK audiences' experience of different cultures."
Interestingly, the way that the World Service measures their success in this mission is very familiar to web folk around the world, reads, listener numbers, total reach ... and the way they get their viewers, readers and listeners represents best practice in our industry.
In particular, editorial independence is key.
Blasting out "Britain is best" propaganda will convince no-one to think that the UK is a sophisticated and mature global player but having the cultural confidence to provide balanced international news and insight will do.
The BBC has a weekly global viewership of some 308 million people. The UK tops the World Economic Forums Soft Power 30.
It is a good example of that ‘soft power' which US foreign policy expert Joseph Nye argues a modern nation should seek to develop. I am in no doubt that the global reputation of Britain is enhanced by the quality of the BBC World Service. And this is no empty boast. A recent piece of independent audience research showed that four out of five BBC users in Egypt, Pakistan, Turkey and Kenya felt the World Service made them feel positive about the UK.