From "Organizing the Nation's Public Diplomacy" by Gifford D. Malone (1988):
More important than a few well-publicized projects was the general administration attitude. The Reagan administration, to a noticeably greater extent than its predecessor, understood the importance of communicating policy and understood the critical role played by the foreign press and television in this process. Taking their cue from the White House, members of the administration . . . , from Cabinet officers to working-level officials, displayed a readiness, much more than had been true previously, to hold briefings and meet with foreign media representatives. USIA's foreign press center in Washington, benefitting from this cooperative attitude, expanded its schedule of briefings of foreign correspondents by U.S. officials and improved its services and facilities. For the same reason, those responsible for presidential visits abroad, while still paying careful attention to the large American press corps that accompanies the president at such times, tended in organizing these trips to take greater account of foreign public opinion than in the past. . . .
In 1985 the United States signed a new cultural exchange agreement with the Soviet Union, restoring a relationship that had been severed by President Carter following the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979. The agreement resumed and in some cases expanded upon the pattern of U.S.-Soviet exchanges that had existed in the past and added several new provisions broadening the relationship. To the surprise of some observers, an administration perceived as being strongly ideological and starting out with an interest in the aggressive use of information programs for policy purposes established what turned out to be a relatively balanced combination of advocacy and cultural communication programs.