Recently several events in the world have damaged countries’ reputation. The riots in England, or also the « Arabic revolutions », have had commons consequences, in damaging the reputation of these countries and creating instability on the public opinion. The concept of reputation is more commonly associated with company and Dalton and Croft (2003) define it such as “the sum values that stakeholders attribute to a company, based on their perception and interpretation of the image that the company communicates over time”.
But we can also extend this definition to country, and Lewis (2011) explains that the reputation is “what people says about us” and raises the problem of reputation’s vulnerability. The impact of the reputation seems to be a powerful concept and we have to explore how country’s reputation can impact seriously, whom that is favorably or unfavorably, the country’s health through consequences, in individual and business choices.
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In a first part, we are going to show how reputation can act on the different significant actors of a country and can have a strong role on the country’s appeal. We are going to tackle the idea that perception of a situation is influenced by a lot of elements and the fact that country’s image result in different behavior. Then, in a second part, we are going to observe the complexity of managing reputation and the reason why leading action on reputation could be useful when crisis occur.
The reputation concern a large range of actors, stakeholders, sure enough a country is made of lots of interactions. The visitor and the tourism’s sector, national companies and foreign companies, the FDI and investors, the workforce… All these forces create a dynamic environment and the reputation has to be good to attract and keep these stakeholders on the country. Anholt (2007) tackles the notion of competitive identity and he makes a connection with brand management. He explains the importance of competitive identity because of its influence on mind and behaviours.
He compares four concepts: -The brand image to the reputation and define it such as the external perception of the brand or of the country -The brand identity to the core meaning and define it such as the national identity -The brand equity to the asset values of reputation and define it such as the reputation’s power and permanence. -The brand purpose to the power of shared goal and define it such as the internal perception. The mix of these concepts build the competitive identity, Anholt (2007) states that all ountry have to improve it because of three main reasons; competitive identity attracts, transfer magnetism to other object and has the power to create order out of chaos.. Leisure Marketing – 2011/2012 – Assignment No. 1 We can make a link with the concept of “country origin effect” to show how reputation and image can influence perception, Anholt (2007) explains that a country can benefit from its positive or negative image for all this business. He used the example of the Swiss precision, French chic or Swedish design…
The positive reputation had an effect in general in the country and not only on the specific product which its reputation to the country. Why? In my opinion, we must connect this with the concept of consumer behaviour. The consumer tend to simplify the purchase decision and the choice because he does not have enough time and he beliefs symbolic value rather reality quality. In the case of tourism and the choice of a destination, it’s important to make a link with the perception. Sure enough, Fill (2006) explains that consumer evaluates risk before purchase decision.
He does a calculation between cost and benefit, which is based on his perception. A tourist is influenced in his choice of destination by the competitive identity and a lot of events can damage it, for example terrorism, political instability, war, or natural disaster… Sonmez (1998) explains the relation between terrorism and tourism, and argues that terrorism is a major problem with the tourism sector because they often target tourists to have more impact. Consumers in general will choose a safe-secure destination and will evaluate the risk such as a cost.
A safe secure destination will be more attractive, “Arabic’s Revolutions”, for example illustrate as well this phenomenon. In several countries which were very busy, like Tunisia or Egypt, recent political turmoil lead to decrease by 11% the international tourist arrivals between January to April, according to the UNTWO (2011). In Egypt, where tourism represents 11% of employment, there is a real crisis. In these countries, tourism is an economic motor, and for example according to Grangie (2011), the decline of the Egypt GDB was about 7 % in the first term of the year.
Sonmez (1998) quote Edgell vision (1990) and says “tourism decisions to stay home or choose safe destinations are translated into significant looses for the industry of the country suffering from terrorism”. But that it is more problematic, it is the fact that tourist do not choose these destination currently, even if the country is calm and safe. Nevertheless a new tourist’s range appears, as Sonmez (1998) called the “tourism of war”,and sometimes instability become a source of interest.
The image is therefore a major criteria of choice, but it’s also important to underline the perception can differ according to the customer’s origin (Sonmez, 1998). At this stage it is also important to bring up the role of the media, because of its involvement in the information circulation. Yannopoulo, Koronis and Elliott (2011), pay particular attention to the powerful relation between brand crisis and media amplification. The media can change the perception in dramatizing and in creating (a mass panic, a psychosis) around an event. Leisure Marketing – 2011/2012 – Assignment No. 1
Page and Connell (2006) share the same view, in stressing on the fact that media “portray the immediacy of threats”. It is the reason why the way of communication is essential when crisis occur, the consumer assess the risk according to the media communication and the media is often one of the most reliable and affordable (accessible) information source for consumers. Furthermore Yannopoulo, Koronis and Elliott (2011) and Anohlt (2007) also stressed on the importance of the brand trust, or for a country, of its reputation: more this one is strong less it will be damage by media communication.
Therefore it is really valuable to create a strong “brand trust” around a country and to manage its image, working with the media such as a “third part”, above all when crisis occur. This last point was one of the concrete recommendations which emerge of the UNTWO (2011) conference about the relationship between tourism and the media: “establishing an active dialogue between tourism administration, the private sector and the media”.
At this progress we can deal with the second part of the discussion, chaining up with the concept of crisis management in relation with the reputation management. Seeger (2002) make a link between crisis communication and chaos theory, he shows a country such as a system and the influence of communication on. He stress on the communication power to resolve crisis or on the other side, to accelerate crisis, according to the message. Reputation management is an important focus because a country can manage its reputation using the right tool and can reduce crisis’ impacts.
The public relations, as Fill ( 2006) argued, must be used to improve the credibility of an organization, furthermore Public relations can help to prepare with a proactive approach, to moderate crisis ‘ impacts and to re- establish a secure environment. This statement was also described by The London school of public reputation (2010), such as “proactive, by helping to generate attention and understanding through media awareness or reactive, in helping to protect an organization’s reputation during a crisis”.
Several case of marketing campaign can be quoted; all of these have the same goal: improve the country’s reputation. Before with a proactive approach and after crisis with reactive approach. In Tunisia, the government has launched the campaign “I love Tunisia” after the political turmoil, in Canada just before the Olympic Games the country played the game of a marketing campaign called “Investigate unlimited” or in England with the campaign “Visit Britain” which was launch after the riots in 2011 and before the big issue of the Olympics Games in 2012.
We progressively assist to the appearance of the “brand destination”, such as a product,a service or a company, we sell a country. Francois Victor (2004) quotes Dubai and the use of celebrities like David Beckham to promote the country, or Singapore and its brand “Uniquely Singapore”. Leisure Marketing – 2011/2012 – Assignment No. 1 However Anholt who is the first initiator of the concept of brand destination which called “nation branding” in 1996, stresses on the fact that a country can’t be only a brand, because it reduce the country’s image.
A strong reputation is a distinguishing feature of stability and confidence. It is the reason why manage a country’s reputation is essential at social, economical and political level to ensure the activities’ permanence, even if a crisis occur. Public relations permit to anticipate crisis and resolve it quickly, in impeding the impacts and in safeguarding its attraction. Because when a reputation is damaged by an event, all the country can suffer of this for a long time, such as a “domino effect”, tourism sector, companies, investments…
Today subjects such Crisis Management or The Public Relation can help to protect and manage country’s reputation, it underpins the essential participation of all stakeholders in a country in the same direction. But more and more the concept of brand destination is used, and we can ask us the question of the future of this concept which is strictly marketing. Some boundaries exist and remind us of the complexity and the country’s cultural character. To illustrate this, I would like to quote Socrate (470-399 BC) who said “the way to gain a good reputation is to endeavour to be what you desire appear”…
Leisure Marketing – 2011/2012 – Assignment No. 1 References • Dalton J. and Croft S. , The London School of Public Reputation, 2010. Reputation management. [online], Available at :< http://www. pr-school-london. com/index. php? page=reputation-management> • Lewis, C. , 2011. Mapping British Business: Tourism “Perception can mean everything. Management Analysis: Reputation management. ” The Times newspapers Ltd, pp. 16-24 • Anholt, S. , 2007. Competitive identity-the brand brand management for nations,cities and regions. [e-book]. New york. Palgrave McMillan.
Available through: Heriot Watt University Library website [accessed October 2011] • Fill, C. , 2006. Marketing communications: engagement, strategies and practice. 4 rd ed. FT Prentice Hall/ Pearson Education Ltd. Ch 25. pp. 679-711 • Sonmez, S. F. , 1998. Tourism, Terrorism and Political Instability. Annals of Tourism Research, 25(2), pp. 416-456. • UNTWO, 2011. International tourism maintains momentum despite challenges. [press release], 30 June 2011, Available at: • Grangie, E. , 2011. La croissance en Tunisie et en Egype plombee par les revoltes. L’Expansion, [online]17 Mai.
Available at: • Yannopoulo, N. , Koronis, E. and Elliott, R. , 2011. Media amplification of a brand crises and its affect on brand trust. Journal of Marketing Management, 27(5-6) • Page, S. T. And Connel, J. , 2006. Tourism a modern synthesis. 2 rd ed. Thomson. Ch 26. pp. 495-514. • UNTWO, 2011. Conference forges closer relationship between tourism and the media. [press release], 13 September 2011, Available at : Leisure Marketing – 2011/2012 – Assignment No. 1 • Seeger, M. W. , 2002. Chaos and crisis: proposition for a general theory of crisis communication.
Public Relation Review, 28, pp. 329-337 • The London school of public reputation, 2010. What is PR ?. [online], Available at : • Francois, V. , 2004. Strategie de destination touristiques: devenir une marque. Strategos, [online], Avail able at: • Socrate (470-399 BC) Bibliography • Hudson, S. , 2008. Tourism and Hospitality Marketing – a global perspective. Safe publication, London. Ch 12, Ch 13. • El Hedef, M. and Ghanmi, M. , 2011. Le tourisme redemarre en Tunisie. Magharebia, [online]6 Mai 2011. Available at: • Yahia, M. , 2010.
Une etude recommande les moyens de stimuler le Tourisme en tunisie. Magharebia, [online]12 October 2010. Available at: • Bouazza, N. , 2011. Tourisme en berne apres le printemps arabe. L’expresse, [online]20 July 2011. Available at : • Desautels, M. S. , 2011. Tourisme : d’abord une affaire d’image ?. La presse, [online]12 March 2011. Available at : • Anon. 2011. A Londres, la police en force au carnaval de Notting Hill, apres les emeutes . France 24. [online]28 August 2011. Available at : Leisure Marketing – 2011/2012 – Assignment No. 1