Jan von Baumgarten-Ståhlberg from GlobalCom’s partner Comvision in Stockholm provided the latest comment for PR Report magazine. The article was published in the surrent issue of the magazin (see image). Here’s the English original version of his comment:
After six years of non-socialist rule in Sweden, the country is now fundamentally changed. After decade upon decade of Social democrat governments, something close to a revolution has taken place.
Our finances are in order, at least from a comparative European perspective. We have a state budget in balance and a diminishing national debt. As a result of this, the Swedish krona, which is staying outside of the Eurozone, has increased in value to such an extent that our export industry is starting to suffer. Those that are paid in dollar or euro are paid too little, while products and services that can be invoiced in Swedish krona become too expensive. This is mainly the case for our manufacturing industry and our basic industries of foresting and ore.
New winds are sweeping the nation and this can be considered a revolution also from a communication perspective.
The huge process of change that we have gone through has resulted in a major increase in communication in Sweden; like PR for companies, organizations and authorities, lobbying to politicians, advertising in all kinds of media, the breakthrough of social media and also personal PR for politicians, businessmen and other high profile players.
The media landscape has changed completely in the last five years. Social media has become an established news channel. Newspapers in print are experiencing declining circulation, while the internet is considered a natural platform for news distribution. At the same time, specialist and trade journals, lifestyle magazines and political papers have increased in number and size. So the trend is going in many different directions and on different levels.
Every summer since 1968, Almedalen in Gotland is the host of a politicians’ week that attracts a growing number of participants each year. In 2011, more than 1 300 seminars were held in seven days in the medieval hanseatic town of Visby. Most of the seminars had purely political messages to convey – a paradise for lobbyists. And for the first time in history, the Swedish government has appointed a person responsible for communication.
All in all, a strong and highly competent industry of communicators in Sweden has been given an even wider platform to continue working from. In combination with the financial situation, this gives companies and organizations that are considering establishing themselves in Sweden excellent conditions for success.
Jan von Baumgarten-Ståhlberg is Senior Advisor and PR strategist at Comvision in Stockholm – GlobalCom PR Network.