Hard experience from the recent economic crisis has shown that more and more companies are recognising that reputation is critical to business success and needs to be approached strategically and holistically; and increasingly, so are countries.
In some cases a single catastrophic event can fundamentally damage a country’s reputation, as for example
A national leader’s vision for their nation or a newly elected government’s mandate may require a more systematic approach, with a comprehensive well-managed programme to build and enhance reputation, aimed at fundamentally transforming the way a country is thought about on the world stage. Although the benefits of a good reputation are not hard to imagine, such countries (and organisations) understand their positive reputations help to attract and retain talent, generate financial returns, attract capital investment and maintain powerful relationships.
A country’s reputation is of course determined by a wide range of factors, some relatively recent or superficial and easy to influence and others long-held and deeply engrained. These include its history, people, culture and heritage; the products and services it makes and exports; its political leadership, on the regional and global stage; and its domestic policies and governance; its economic success and attractiveness as a place to do business and invest; what its like as a place to live (or visit) including its physical environment, security, the health and education facilities it has, as well as how it is rated as a place for leisure and entertainment. These and other drivers of reputation can provide useful frameworks to measure and manage country reputation in a systematic and strategic way.
ReputationInc has worked with a number of countries, first, to measure their reputations and then to develop plans and programmes to enhance them, monitoring implementation and evaluating performance. Core to our approach is a focus on gathering insights based on stakeholders’ perceptions (in particular residents, neighbours, investors, political allies, tourists, trading partners, global institutions and competitor nations) and being guided by policy and other relevant contextualised influences.