Branding not only is a corporate endeavour, but can pop up in politics as well. On 16th of September 2008 the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland published the following press release on its website.
“Foreign Minister Alexander Stubb has appointed a high-level delegation to lead efforts to develop a country brand for Finland. Jorma Ollila, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Royal Dutch Shell plc and Nokia Corporation, has been invited to chair the delegation.
The delegation is charged with the creation of a country brand for Finland, i.e. to create a strong national image that will enhance Finland’s international competitiveness. Appointment of the delegation is based on the present Government Programme, where the Government mentioned strengthening of Finland’s image as one of its central objectives.
The delegation is made up of prominent Finns with personal experience and proven ability in a wide range of fields, such as culture, business, international advocacy and public relations. The members are President Esko Aho, Director Paulina Ahokas, President and CEO Eija Ailasmaa, President and CEO Jukka Hienonen, Director Jan Hultin, President and CEO Mika Ihamuotila, Professor Laura Kolbe, author, MEP Lasse Lehtinen, Chancellor Ilkka Niiniluoto, CEO René Nyberg, foreign correspondent Helena Petäistö, communication consultant Kirsi Piha, artist Osmo Rauhala, athlete Aki Riihilahti, CEO Kai Seikku, Director General Petri Tuomi-Nikula and Permanent Secretary Erkki Virtanen.
The delegation’s term begins on 16 September 2008 and ends on 31 December 2010.
The purpose of the country brand is to strengthen the operating potential of Finnish businesses, increase foreign political influence, promote interest in Finland as an investment target and to increase tourist flows to Finland. The country brand is a cornerstone underpinning success and wellbeing. In the worst of cases, a poor image means economic risk and political setback.
The delegation’s tasks include definition of key strategic selections, critical questions of content, services that enhance prestige and networking, as well as monitoring and steering of the project.
The country brand project is the responsibility of the Finland Promotion Board, which is directed by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and whose members include the central professional actors marketing Finland on the international scene, i.e. the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the Finnish Tourist Board, the Ministry of Employment and the Economy, Invest in Finland, the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology Tekes, Finpro, Taloudellinen Tiedotustoimisto/Finnfacts, Finnair and the Finnish Forest Foundation. The Chairman of the Finland Promotion Board is Director General Petri Tuomi-Nikula and the Secretary General is Juha Parikka of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.
Additional information: Petri Tuomi-Nikula, Chairman of the Finland Promotion Board, tel. +358 9 1605 5800, firstname.lastname@example.org, and Jaakko Lehtonen, Chairman of the Country Brand Working Group and Director General of the Finnish Tourist Board, tel. +358 10 60 58 232, email@example.com.”