Companies might experience image problems caused by various reasons including disappointed customers, internal scandals, bad crisis management and many more. But not only commercial organizations can suffer from a biased public perception – what if a whole country has an image problem? Karla Torres from Lead Image PR has some insight to share on this, which we believe you will find useful.
Mexico, like other countries, is looking to be a sought after country in the international scene to generate good politic relations with other countries and consolidate economic, cultural and commercial interchanges. However, there is a major obstacle for a country like Mexico: the violent and criminal image projected in the media. In order to achieve a more positive international view of Mexico counter actions are needed to correct this image.
Branding a country is a relatively new concept being utilized more and more often today by countries to increase their value and their image towards the world – and, as any other brand initiative, this needs a public relations strategy to establish key messages that help to get a positive image in the international public opinion. To achieve this, since Felipe Calderon’s government, efforts have been made to construct the initiative Brand Country-Image Mexico through five pillars of the communication strategy:
1. Public Relations with international media
2. Engaging Opinion Leaders
3. Launching a positive image campaign in Europe
4. Special projects and events
5. Brand presence
Through these guidelines, concrete initiatives have been undertaken to position Mexico as a country full of opportunities. Components of the brand initiative can be found in various field including tourism communications e.g. on the site of the Mexico Tourism Board.
Despite initial successes however, there is still a need for additional ongoing initiatives to guarantee the efforts will be reflected in the public perception a mid to long term time-frame with the goal to restore the confidence of the international public and to position Mexico as a vibrant country with a kaleidoscope of opportunities for many occasions.
Right now, the travel and tourism sector is doing pretty good, but Mexico has tremendous potential to bring in business and increase numerous industries, will will inevitanbly lead to increased internal consumption of goods and services, as well as international interest. Of course, we need to stop copying our close neighbours in some respects and look to more appropriate examples when it comes to public policies that will encourange the private sector while also not affecting the population in a negative way. There’s a lot to discuss, consider and test, but all countries can do it when the conditions align.
Karla Torres Pardavé, LeadImage – GlobalCom PR Network partner for Mexico and Latin America