July 24, 2023 #ChileDemocratic #ChileDiverse #ChileSustainable #ChileColumns

Country image, a public-private effort

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By Rossana Dresdner, executive director of Fundación Imagen de Chile; and Ignacio Fernández, general director of ProChile:

The strategies and actions of nation branding a practice adopted by an increasing number of countries - seek to create or improve a nation's image among citizens and/or decision-makers in other countries. They are ambitious plans, of a global and non-sectorial nature, which seek to improve the perception of a country as a whole, and which depend on a very coordinated work with the different sectors. There are no single formulas on how to do this.

In the case of Chile, the construction of its country image is carried out on a daily basis, through various instances, from export business, to the outstanding participation of our athletes and the work in our observatories in the north. An effort led by the Fundación Imagen de Chile (FICH), which is strengthened by the collaboration between the public and private sectors, and where one of the key players is ProChile.

Recently, FICH shared its Longitudinal Study 2023, an annual analysis that monitors the perception of our country in various priority markets. Among the highlights of this version, the positioning of "scientific development" and "sustainability" as differentiating attributes of Chile stands out. However, one of the characteristics that has been consolidated over the years is the quality of export products: 47% of those surveyed highlight the excellence of the goods that Chile sends to the world. Our products are recognized for their quality, diversity and craftsmanship, attributes that have been strengthened over time.

However, to have a positive country image, our actions must support the discourse. As Simon Anholt, creator of the Nation Brands Index, rightly stated, "countries are judged by what they do and how they behave, not by what they say".

In that line, we must continue working with all the tools at our disposal, showing our varied exportable offer and services at international fairs, implementing digital marketing campaigns and establishing solid relationships with the foreign press. FICH's international campaigns and support for ProChile's sectoral brands, such as Wines of Chile or CinemaChile, are notable examples of how we can strengthen our global presence.

Those in charge of the institutions in charge of the country image must open the channels of participation to the representatives of all the sectors involved, in order to continue consolidating and highlighting this identity, and to be able to translate it into a State policy. In this way, we can ensure that all those who build the country brand feel that it belongs to them, feel proud of it and use it in all their spaces and actions. As said, it is an ambitious plan, but one in which we cannot lag behind.

The construction of our country image is a collective task that requires cohesion and continuous effort, transversally, from the public and private sectors, from technology to culture, from Arica to Antarctica. Only in this way will we be able to transcend borders and leave a positive mark on the global concert.

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