The Finland Promotion Board (FPB), which sets the guidelines for Finland’s country brand work, has published its country brand review for the years 2015–2016:Building the image of Finland – review of the country image work 2015-2016. The review includes the latest research data, information about the tools for country brand communications compiled in the last few years, and proposals for sharpening Finland’s country brand work. The purpose of the review is to stimulate discussion and provide both content and facts.
“Especially at present, the international situation and our own economic situation require that country brand work be taken seriously. Successful country brand work is ultimately seen in such important ways as political and economic success,” says Mari-Kaisa Brander, who chaired the Finland Promotion Board within the Prime Minister’s Office in 2015–2016.
Country brand work is done by many actors as part of their basic work. Country brand work does not mean only fun-filled campaigns; it also means long-term, slow advocacy, communications and marketing. The Finland Promotion Board brings together key country brand actors and coordinates activities. The chairmanship of the Finland Promotion Board is located in the Prime Minister’s Office, and the Unit for Public Diplomacy at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs serves as its Secretariat.
“The greatest importance is at the macro and micro levels; what types of decisions Finland has taken and takes, as well as what sort of impression of Finland each individual person or company gives in different encounters. On top of this are the narratives, tools and measures that numerous state-financed and regional actor create by highlighting what are perceived as our main strengths,” says Petra Theman, Secretary General of the Finland Promotion Board and Director for Public Diplomacy at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.
The Management Group of the Finland Promotion Board is satisfied with both the reforms of the past two years relating to the common tools of country brand work and the targets reached by many actors, reflected among others in Finland’s placements in various country brand rankings and recommendation listings.
However, the Management Group of the Finland Promotion Board is concerned about the fragmentation and resources of country brand work. The review proposes that the tasks and resources of actors currently involved in country brand work be surveyed. On the basis of the survey, the preconditions for establishing a Promote Finland actor would be determined. Such a Promote Finland actor could bear the main responsibility for Finland’s country brand communications in the same way as, for example, Promote Iceland in Iceland or the Swedish Institute in Sweden.
Inquiries: Director for Public Diplomacy Petra Theman, Ministry for Foreign Affairs +358 295 351 558.
The Foreign Ministry’s email addresses are in the format email@example.com.
Finland Promotion Board, from March 2017
Chair: Jorma Korhonen, Head of Unit, Prime Minister’s Office
Vice Chair: Jouni Mölsä, Director General of Communications, Ministry for Foreign Affairs
Vice Chair: Mari-Kaisa Brander, Head of Communications, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment
Secretary General: Petra Theman, Director for Public Diplomacy, Ministry for Foreign Affairs
Jaana Palojärvi, Director for International Relations, Ministry of Education and Culture
Olli-Pekka Heinonen, Director General, Finnish National Agency for Education
Paavo Virkkunen, Director, Visit Finland
Maija Karhusaari, Director, Communications & Marketing, Finpro
Tomi Korhonen, Director, Marketing & Communications, Tekes
Tove Ekman, Director, Finnish Cultural and Academic Institutes
Marja-Leena Rinkineva, Director of Economic Development, City of Helsinki
Maija Loikkanen, Marketing Director, House of Lapland
A Princeton PhD, was a US diplomat for over 20 years, mostly in Eastern Europe, and was promoted to the Senior Foreign Service in 1997. For the Open World Leadership Center, he speaks with
its delegates from Europe/Eurasia on the topic, "E Pluribus Unum? What Keeps the United States United" (http://johnbrownnotesandessays.blogspot.com/2017/03/notes-and-references-for-discussion-e.html). Affiliated with Georgetown University for over ten years, he shares ideas with students about public diplomacy.
The papers of his deceased father -- poet and diplomat John L. Brown -- are stored at Georgetown University Special Collections at the Lauinger Library. They are manuscript materials valuable to scholars interested in post-WWII U.S.-European cultural relations.
This blog is dedicated to him, Dr. John L. Brown, a remarkable linguist/humanist who wrote in the Foreign Service Journal (1964) -- years before "soft power" was ever coined -- that "The CAO [Cultural Affairs Officer] soon comes to realize that his job is really a form of love-making and that making love is never really successful unless both partners are participating."