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With Pride Against Prejudice

Recommendations for Lithuanias image improvement in Denmark


through the application of Nation Branding and Public Relations theories Gintare Grabaziute

Aarhus School of Business and Social Sciences Bachelors Thesis 2012 May Supervisor: Katrine Vanggaard Madsen

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY This thesis explores what aspects have impact on the

perceptions about the nations and how those perceptions can be managed through Nation Branding and Public Relations. More precisely the analysis is narrowed down to the Lithuanias image in Denmark, which is negative due to the appearance of Lithuanian criminals in Denmark, who are often mentioned in Danish Media in this way contributing to the overall image of Lithuania. Inability to manage the coverage of Danish media can negatively affect the collaboration between the governments and citizens of Denmark and Lithuania in the areas such as politics, diplomatic relations, infrastructure and tourism. Thus it is important to solve this problem, which could be done by answering the question: How can the Lithuanias image in Denmark be improved through Nation Branding?. This thesis is action-prescribing; therefore the purpose of it is to provide recommendations for such an improvement considering the discussions of Nation Branding and Public Relations theories. In brief, this thesis encompasses the analysis of Lithuanias efforts to build the nation brand abroad, analysis of current Lithuanias image in Denmark and the discussions of Nation Branding and PR theories. To examine the previous efforts to improve the Lithuanias image is relevant in order to identify the mistakes that have been done and that need to be improved. The analysis of Danish perceptions reveals the aspects of Nation Brand that are perceived negatively, in this case general

perception about people, because of the Medias constructed stereotypes about Lithuanians. The secondary research is used in order to make these two analyses. In terms of the theories, the relation between Nation Branding and PR is discovered as well as the importance of Media Relations in Nation Branding process is emphasised. All the findings assist in the recommendation and discussion parts, where the theory is related to the analyses and this specific issue. In brief, the recommendations for Lithuanias image in Denmark are: the proposed appropriate stakeholders (Lithuanias government, Danish Media, Lithuanias diaspora living in Denmark, and a hired PR company) have to maintain an opendialogue communication with each other; secondly, the Media Centre is suggested to be established, where the media coverage in Denmark would be measured continuously by the PR company and diaspora volunteers. Moreover, the recommendation to establish diasporas community is proposed in order to collaborate with them and benefit from their knowledge about Danish society. For their communication the idea to use Social Media as a tool is suggested to make the interactions more open and active. Lastly, the foundation of this thesis is Social Constructionism, which implies that the recommendations made should not be

considered as the only truth, but rather as a strategy backed up by relevant theories and suitable only for the discussed situation.

Table of Contents 1. INTRODUCTION ....................................................... 5 1.1. BACKGROUND INFORMATION .......................... 7 1.2. PROBLEM STATEMENT...................................... 9 1.3. DELIMITATIONS ................................................ 10 1.4. METHOD AND STRUCTURE ............................. 10 1.5. THEORY OF SCIENTIFIC METHODS: SOCIAL CONSTRUCTIONISM ............................................... 12 1.6. THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK .......................... 13 2. NATION BRANDING .............................................. 14 2.1. NATION BRANDING VS. CORPORATE BRANDING AND PRODUCT BRANDING .................................... 15 2.2. COMPLEXITY OF NATION BRANDING ...... 19 2.2.1. THE SCOPE OF NATION BRANDING ... 20 2.2.2. GLOBAL TARGET AUDIENCE ............... 22 2.2.2.1. STEREOTYPES ............................ 23 2.2.3. DISCUSSION ON WHO OWNS THE NATION BRAND.................................................................... 24 2.2.3.1. DIASPORA ................................... 26 2.3. CONCLUSION .............................................. 27 3. PUBLIC RELATIONS ............................................. 28 3.1. PUBLIC RELATIONS APPROACH TO NATION BRANDING ............................................................... 31 3.1.1.USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA FOR PUBLIC RELATIONS IN NATION BRANDING ............................................... 33 3.2 CONCLUSION .............................................. 35 4. LITHUANIAS EFFORTS IN BUILDING THE NATION BRAND .................................................................................... 36 4.1. LITHUANIAS IMAGE IN DENMARK............. 43

4.2. THE IMPORTANCE OF IMPROVING LITHUANIAS IMAGE PRECISELY IN DENMARK .......................... 45 5. RECOMMENDATIONS FOR IMPROVEMENT THROUGH APPLYING PR ............................................................ 47 6. DISCUSSION .......................................................... 51 7. CONCLUSION ........................................................ 54 8. BIBLIOGRAPHY ..................................................... 56 9. APPENDIXES ......................................................... 59 9.1. APPENDIX 1: THE NBAR MODEL ..................... 59 9.2. APPENDIX 2: THE NATION BRAND INDEX HEXAGON 61 9.3. APPENDIX 3: THE FIST APPROACH ................ 62 9.4. APPENDIX 4: FOUR MODELS OF PR............... 63 9.5. APPENDIX 5: INSPIRED BY ICELAND WEB SITE65 9.6. APPENDIX 6: THE ARTICLE ABOUT THE LITHUANIAN CRIMINALS IN DK .................................................... 66 Total number of characters (no spaces): 54 246 1. INTRODUCTION In todays world, which is governed by the media and information overload, building and maintaining strong brands has become an inevitable process for companies, organisations, and even countries in order to survive and compete in the global market. Furthermore, the media has recently started to play a very powerful role, and companies have adjusted by becoming more

careful and observant about their images and reputations, which are now more under control of customers and the media. Tench (2008) calls this process the information revolution that resulted in an international information society. Tench (2008) claims that the global network society refers to the notion that new communication technologies result in a fundamental shift in social organisation and therefore, such a change in the control of power has also affected individual countries (117p.). This implies that countries are also branded to compete on a global scale and sustain positive reputations in the world. However, this process is much more complex for countries than it is for companies. The reason is that countries are not "selling" just one product, but a whole, complicated pack of them, such as people, culture, territory, infrastructure, etc. (Metahaven, 2008). Globalisation has had a huge impact on the growth of migration among the countries, which directly impacts a nation's brand. For example, after Lithuania became a member of the EU, more and more Lithuanians have decided to use the opportunity of open borders and migrate to other countries, but unfortunately, criminals have also realized this chance and migrated too. One of the favorite destinations for Lithuanian immigration has been Denmark, which has experienced both the positive and negative aspects of the immigration phenomenon, including crime. After a

wave of crimes committed by Lithuanians in Denmark, Lithuania faces a huge challenge as a nation, since its reputation in Denmark is now hanging by a thread. Inability to manage the coverage of Danish media and insufficient efforts to improve this situation can lead to weakened collaboration between the governments and citizens of Denmark and Lithuania, negatively impacting areas such as politics, diplomatic relations,

infrastructure and tourism efforts between the two countries.


1.1.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

After the end of the Cold War, when many new eastern and central European nations emerged, those nations realized the importance of building strong identities in order to compete for FDI, attract tourists and be diplomatically recognized to become members of the EU (Tench et al., 2008, 127p.). One of those nations was Lithuania. However, even though the country was able to implement all the requirements and became a member of the EU, this achievement has not transformed it into an overnight European country in the eyes of the international publics. Unfortunately, similar to other post-Soviet countries, Lithuania is still identified with communism, corruption and crime. In other words, Lithuania does not have a strong brand and as a nation and thus it is very vulnerable in terms of media. As it can be

expected, unbranded and unknown states are especially susceptible to be presented negatively by the media, which can have an impact on the long-term image of the nation. For example, the movie "Borat" has reshaped Kazakhstans image into that of a grotesque backwater inhabited by village idiots, interspersed with Soviet-era footage of agriculture and heavy industries (Metahaven, 2008) for the global audience. Thus, Kazakhstan is still having problems with getting rid of this image. This demonstrates that the world is unaware of former Soviet nations and that the media reflects it blindly through the use of its tremendous power and influence. A victim of this image partly built by the media, Lithuania is also perceived negatively in most Western countries. One of the reasons that heighten this image is crime committed by the country's citizens in more developed and better-branded nations. This situation is especially clear in Denmark, which has had a 63 percent increase in the number of eastern Europeans charged with crimes since 2006; thus, its government was even considering tightening borders (Stanners, No evidence to support tighter borders, 2012). More precisely, such criminality done by Lithuanians resulted in the police asking motorists to follow cars with Lithuanian registration numbers and report their movements within Danish territory. To crown it all, Danish far-right Folkepartei representatives have argued that Lithuanians should

require visas to enter Denmark, in order to protect the country from an influx of criminals and even though other mainstream parties have not supported their proposals (Pavlovaite, 2001). This shows that Denmark, which is one of the major foreign investors in Lithuania, views Lithuanians as a danger for their well-being, and in the same way, the Danish media is reflecting that negative stereotype. For such a young (concerning only 22 years of independency) and not well-branded country like Lithuania, it is a big challenge to cope with this issue and protect its image. Nevertheless, it is critical to improve this image, or at least minimize the negative perception in order to maintain good relationships between these two countries, avoid restrictions like closed borders, and stimulate promising communication regarding tourism, culture, policy, people, brands, investment and recruitment.
1.2.

PROBLEM STATEMENT

Considering the importance that nation branding has in our interconnected and media driven society, and the problems that Lithuania faces as a result of a negative image in Denmark, the problem identified, and thus, the question this thesis attempts to answer is the following:

How can the Lithuanias image in Denmark be improved through Nation Branding? To answer this, the relevant theories of Nation Branding and Public Relations will be discussed in this thesis, and based on them and the findings from the subsequent analysis,

recommendations for the improvement of Lithuania's image in Denmark will be identified.


1.3.

DELIMITATIONS

Even though nation brand is usually focused on the global market, the scope of this thesis was narrowed down to focus specifically on Denmark. Further, this thesis will not provide information on how to create Lithuania's nation brand for the Danish audience. Instead, it will provide recommendations to improve the country's image in Denmark. The recommendations will not be specific steps for a Nation Branding strategy, but theoretical suggestions that can be applied in reality. In addition, this thesis will not elaborate on the connection between nation branding and the country-of-origin effect, as it is not focused on destination or place branding, and this is outside the scope of this thesis, which would not support the problem solving.
1.4.

METHOD AND STRUCTURE

This is an action-prescribing thesis, and thus, the main aim is to propose appropriate recommendations to solve the problem presented above. The framework of the thesis is based on the discussion of the theories of Nation Branding and Public Relations, the analysis of the current image of Lithuania in Denmark, and the strategies that Lithuania already applied to improve its image. For the analysis, secondary research was chosen, mostly because of time restrictions. The thesis is built around four main parts supplemented by other smaller sections in order to reach a conclusion. Section 2 is based on the theory of Nation Branding, involves its comparison with other forms of branding, and provides relevant aspects of this field that flow into the whole concept of nation brand. Section 3 encompasses the theory of Public Relations, and its relation to Nation Branding is discussed afterwards. Following this, Section 4 is an analysis of Lithuanias efforts to build the nation brand since its independence until now, and the country's current image in Denmark. In Section 5, recommendations are provided after considering the findings from the previous sections. After that, Section 6 is drawn upon the discussion of the theories applied, and new points of view are presented. Finally, Section 7 contains the conclusion, where all the findings are summarized.

1.5.

THEORY

OF

SCIENTIFIC

METHODS:

SOCIAL

CONSTRUCTIONISM

In order to answer the problem statement, Social Constructionism was chosen to lay down a foundation for this thesis. According to Social Constructionism theory, people construct their own and others identities through daily social interactions (Burr, 2001, 9p.). However, Social Constructionism also stands for the critical thought that there is no one truth for perceiving the world and that the ways of understanding it cannot be taken for grated (Burr, 2001, 3p.). This attitude towards building knowledge fits well with the topic of Nation Branding, since some theorists argue that Social Constructivism provides nations with the opportunity to construct their own images (Ham, 2008, 146p.; Widler, 2007, 145p.). Another reason for this choice is because Social Constructionism claims that all ways of understanding are historically and culturally relative (Burr, 2001, 6p.), which implies that each country has a different perception of one nation, contradicting the notion that nations can be branded worldwide. Therefore, this thesis argues that Nation Branding is more successful when applied to specific cases and specific countries (as the issue between Lithuania and Denmark).

The Social Constructionism view also plays a major role in making analysis and conclusions. Based on the idea that we construct our own versions of reality (Burr, 2001, 6p.) this thesis and the theories discussed in it demonstrate the authors interpretations of the world and therefore cannot be regarded as one and only truth. As a result, all recommendations and interpretations proposed are influenced by the social interactions that the author has experienced and thus, it can be regarded as a contribution to the overall knowledge of the subject.
1.6.

THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK

Since Nation Branding is a complex and relatively new concept, academics and practitioners hold different views on the subject. Hence, for the theoretical framework, a number of works were chosen to answer the thesis question. However, since this thesis is framed by the Social Constructionism theory, this implies that none of the interpretations should be regarded as absolute truth. To explain the Nation Branding theory, the main research chosen is from Ying Fan, Keith Dinnie and Anholt, apart from additional academics to supplement their approaches. Ying Fan is chosen to define the general concept of Nation Branding and differentiate it from other forms of branding, whereas Dinnies findings provide the practical framework that corresponds to the analysis part by

identifying the difficulties and complexities that Nation Branding practitioners may confront in the process of re-branding the country. On the other hand, Anholt's research is also critical, since as the father of Nation Branding, he identifies the relation between the nation's image and the influence of the media in the process of Nation Branding, which is relevant to answer the question of this thesis. Regarding PR theory, Ralph Tench and Liz Yeomans are selected, as they provide the framework of this theory. PR was chosen because the theory concerns itself talks about the longterm relationships with the stakeholders, and another researcher, Gyorgy Szondi, explains the importance of these aspects in Nation Branding relating to both theories, which is important for this thesis in order to provide relevant recommendations for improvement. The research was specifically chosen on the premise of Social Constructionism that the knowledge of the world is constructed through social interactions. As such, the research used emphasises the importance of relationships between people and their social interactions. 2. NATION BRANDING

In this chapter, the Nation Branding concept will be presented in order to understand how to successfully apply Nation Branding strategies. First, the differences between nation, corporate and product branding will be listed in order to clarify the concept, and secondly, the challenges for practitioners when building a nation brand will be discussed.
2.1.

NATION BRANDING VS. CORPORATE BRANDING AND PRODUCT BRANDING

What is a brand? To understand the origins of Nation Branding, the term brand has to be clearly defined. According to the Chartered Institute of Marketing (UK) a brand is: "a symbol that represents the consumers experience with an organisation, product or services. A brand is a product or service whose dimensions differentiate it in some way from other products or services designed to satisfy the same need. Alternatively it can be viewed as a holistic, emotional and intangable experience or both. A Brand can be strong enough to evoke feelings of belonging, love and affection (Kotler, 2009, 426p.).

This implies that branding helps products to be differentiated and gain a competitive advantage in a global market. How did the branding process begin for products,

corporations and nations? Because of globalization and increasing competition, customers became more cautious about the products they buy, their brands, and the corporations that stand behind them (Machkova, 2010, 115p.), which was the reason why corporations began to build their own brands (called corporate brands). Corporate brands are much more complex than product/service brands, since they also have to maintain the reputation of the corporation and develop long-term relationships with customers. Similar to corporations, countries were forced to build their brands too. As Peter van Ham (2001) states: having a bad reputation or none at all is a serious handicap for a state seeking to remain competitive in the international arena. The unbranded state has a difficult time attracting economic and political attention (2p.). However, even though it might appear that product branding, corporate branding and nation branding are very similar concepts, some differences need to be analysed to prove the complexity of the Nation Branding process.

What are the main attributes of product, corporate and nation brands? Fan (2010) distinguishes between these three concepts

analysing nine categories: offer, attributes, benefits, image, association, purpose, dimension, ownership and audience (99p.). In his analysis, Fan (2010) states that corporate and product brands clearly offer a product, a service, or a sector and their attributes are clearly defined, while nation brands are too complicated to define, and the brand by itself has nothing to offer (99p.). In contrast, Dinnie (2008), based on her Nation-Brand

architecture (NBAR) (198p.), suggests that nation brands actually contain many other sub-brands, such as sports, exports, tourism, talent attraction, etc., which also have other sub-brands (see appendix 1). Therefore, nation brands have many products/services to offer, contrary to the other two forms of brands. However, it is important to mention that there is no brand architecture panacea that would suit for all nations. Depending on the strategic purpose of each nation, it is important to develop the synergistic linkage between the different sub-brands while creating a nation brand. Nation brands are significantly more complex than product or corporate brands

Turning to the benefits section, according to Fan (2010), a nation brands benefits are purely emotional, whereas product brand and corporate brand provide the customer with little emotional benefits (99p.). The image of Nation Branding is complicated, diverse and vague because of multiple stakeholders and uncontrollable factors influencing the image, whereas product brand holds a simple and clear image, and corporate brands image might be a little hidden despite its visibility. The major purpose of nation brand is to enhance a nations reputation, similar to the corporate brands purpose to enhance reputation and develop relationships with stakeholders. In contrast, the goal of a product brand is mostly focused on boosting sales. While the dimensions of a nation brand can vary from political and economic to social and cultural, product and corporate brands are mostly focused in the economic dimension. In addition, the audiences of Nation Branding can be international and diverse, while a product brand audience is a targeted segment and a corporate brand audience can vary from general public to targeted audiences (Fan, 2010, 99p.). Nations brands share similarities with corporate brands The indicated differences above show that Nation Branding is more familiar with corporate branding than product branding; therefore, "many of the tools developed in the corporate world

can be used in the nation branding process (Cromell, 2012). However, the most obvious similarity is that nation and corporate branding are focused on creating good relationships with their stakeholders and enhancing their reputations. Consequently, Public Relations is an appropriate choice as a communication tool to establish effective corporate and nation brands by building the relationships with stakeholders through image and reputation management. As defined by the Institute of Public Relations 2004, PR: it is all about reputation the result of what you do, what you say and what others say about you. Public Relations is the discipline that looks after reputation, with the aim of earning understanding and support and influencing opinion and behaviour (Tench et al., 2008, 5p.). Szondi (2010) also maintains that PR can help for the nation in a case of reputational damage (338p.). Later in the thesis the relation between PR and Nation Branding will be discussed (see section 3.1.).
2.2.

COMPLEXITY OF NATION BRANDING

Having explained the nature of nation brands, this section examines the challenges for practitioners when branding a country, as well as the complex structure of nation brands. The

scope of Nation Branding, the target audiences of Nation Branding, and the potential stakeholders of Nation Branding will be discussed by raising a question: who owns the nation brand? 2.2.1. THE SCOPE OF NATION BRANDING

Nation Branding is a relatively new phenomenon. Thus, practitioners agree that there is much confusion about this concept (Fan, 2005, 5p.). Dinnie (2008) defines Nation Branding as an exciting, complex and controversial subject (13p.). She argues that it is exciting because it is highly used in practice despite little theory existing on the subject; that it is complex because it encompasses many more disciplines than

conventional brand strategies; and that it is controversial because Nation Branding is closely related with the politicized activity that generates passionately held and frequently conflicting viewpoints and opinions (13p.). It is important to emphasize that the process of nation branding is complex because it covers many political, economic, historical and cultural dimensions (Fan, 2010, 98p.). Moreover, in 2005, Anholt developed a Nation Brand Index (see appendix 2) to measure the reputations and images of nations. The hexagon model involves six main dimensions of Nation Banding: exports, governance, culture and heritage, people, tourism, and investment and immigration. Each dimension has a

huge impact on the overall nations image and in order to assess nations, people from different countries are interviewed to evaluate other nations performances in those dimensions, which lead to various responses depending on the pre-conceptions about the country held by interviewees. It is important to note that in this thesis, a Nation Brand Index only serves as a model to illustrate the dimensions that are assimilated by the overall nation brand. Considering the above dimensions, it becomes apparent that all of them are too different to encompass one aim. Even though the general purpose of Nation Branding is to promote a nations image and compete in the international market, in practice there can be many other more specific aims, such as boosting tourism, improving economic development, or attracting more FDI. Moreover, Nation Branding can be necessary to gain a political advantage. For example, in 1919 the Lithuanian National Council hired the father of PR, Edward Bernays, "to generate support for the country in the United States and achieve official recognition from the United States when Lithuania sought to become an independent nation, since at that time American politicians and society were ignorant about Lithuania and its aspirations. In order to achieve this goal, Bernay created a campaign to inform ethnologists about Lithuanias ethnic origins, linguists about the

development of its language from Sanskrit, and sports fans about its athletics contests (Szondi, 2008, 3p.). 2.2.2. AUDIENCE GLOBAL TARGET

The mentioned dimensions have an impact on the perceptions of international audiences. Therefore, even though the country is not putting any efforts to build a brand - the nations already have their nation brands the mental image of the country held by foreign people (Fan, 2010, 98p.). In a Nation Branding process, foreign audiences become the target group. Their perceptions are the current image of the nation and the Nation Branding task is to change or alter that image in order to compete successfully on the world stage. However, the problem is that international audiences have a different degree of knowledge and experience about the nation, and each country has different cultural values that will affect its decoding and perception of image (Fan, 2005, 9p.). Thus, when planning a Nation Branding strategy it is critical to make the analysis of the target group and narrow it down, which implies that it is more successful to choose different strategies of Nation Branding for different countries.

However, one would argue that nation brand has to be a consistent unit and it would not be a good idea to have dissimilar strategies for each country, but as Fan (2010) states: the biggest challenge in nation branding is how to communicate a single image or message to different audiences in different countries (101p.). All existing images about a nation form one big picture, but at the same time, in one country it is better to emphasize certain features of the nation brand, while in other it can be useful to promote one dimension more than another. 2.2.2.1. STEREOTYPES

Nation is a socially constructed concept (Widler, 2007, 145p.). Widler (2007) argues that people might think that nations exist because they take it for granted as a common sense. However, the concept of Nation Branding is reconstructed all the time by the media, various institutions, and in practice. She also claims that social constructs need to be constantly re-constructed in order to survive, which means that Nation Branding is a process of re-constructing the nation. This might be a reason why Anholt (2002), a Nation Branding practitioner, states that he is often accused of rewriting the history of the nations (Ham, 2008, 135p.).

Unfortunately, stereotypes are one result of the social construct. Anholt (2005) finds that as a consequence of globalisation, people tend to use shorthands to make sense of the world (Widler, 2008, 148p.) and stereotype nations because of the lack of knowledge about them. Similarly, the media also is stereotyping nations (Anholt, 2009a, 178p.). This becomes a big problem because the media is constructing this concept of nation and proposing it to the audience. As such, Nation Branding practitioners should use stereotypes to develop a nation brand. However, they should also clarify those stereotypes and clearly define the nation, so journalists become more knowledgeable when writing about a nation, and transmit objective information to the public. 2.2.3. DISCUSSION ON WHO OWNS THE NATION BRAND

Another complexity of Nation Branding arises when considering coordination of the nation brand. Dinnie (2008) argues that Nation Branding cannot simply belong to brand managers or corporations, but is owned by the nations entire citizenry (15p.). In contrast, Fan (2005) states that without strong leadership, any campaign in nation branding is doomed to fail (8p.). An alternative is to combine these two approaches conveyed, which

leads us to the principle of inclusiveness, a method that involves all relevant stakeholders for the specific cases of Nation Branding (Dinnie, 2008, 187p.). This inclusive approach is discussed by Prof. Leslie de Chernatony, who identifies two forms of inclusiveness: fully inclusive approach and programme-specific inclusiveness. Fully inclusive stakeholder approach (FIST) (see appendix 3)

represents the ideal state, rather than any actual state. In this model, the government plays a major role and controls all other stakeholders. However, the government also has to ensure that the long-term Nation Branding strategy is independent from politics to sustain stability and consistency for the next government (Dinnie, 2008, 189p.). The lower stakeholders in the figure have their own agendas and therefore, many nations that apply this model are able to coordinate Nation Branding activities successfully. The FIST approach is considered suitable for nations that need the full inclusiveness and are facing economic threat, that are in the process of emerging in the international stage for the first time or need a radical change in their international image (Dinnie, 2008, 189p.). Nevertheless, this method might be difficult to implement in reality. Because of the extent of the stakeholders,

the government or other responsible parties might have difficulties to empower all of them. However, another way to make a strategy for Nation Branding is to embody a programme-specific inclusiveness (Dinnie, 2008, 190p.). This approach can be applied only when a country has already implemented some Nation Branding strategies before or is already well recognized in the world. This means that some deficits in the overall countrys image are found and therefore, in one or another dimension the country has to be re-branded. Particularly because of that, the choice of the stakeholders in this approach depends on the branding strategy and its goals. Usually, the government is involved only "in the initial stage, in order to kick-start the campaign of nation branding and galvanize stakeholder participation, but afterwards the private sector engages in the Nation Branding development and the role of the government decreases (Dinnie, 2008, 192p.). This approach would be more suitable for proposing the

recommendations to answer the problem statement of this thesis. 2.2.3.1. DIASPORA

Another very important stakeholder that should be considered in both mentioned approaches is diaspora. According to Dinnie (2008), diaspora networks are the representatives in another

country and have a huge impact on the nation brand in the foreign country where they live (228p.). This can be justified by Social Constructionism theory, because as it was mentioned previously, people construct knowledge about the world between themselves (Burr, 2001, 4p.); therefore, immigrants can change people's pre-given perceptions about the nation, as word-ofmouth has almost the same impact on people perceptions as direct experience or media (Anholt, 2009a, 179p.). On the other hand, the government can gain some advantage from the nations diaspora by supporting their networks abroad. For example, there are many diaspora networks that are professional associations dedicated to helping members advance in their professional field, as the South African Diaspora Network, which focuses on developing knowledge and

entrepreneurial connections between South African firms and well-connected, strategically placed individuals in the UK (Dinnie, 2008, 228p.). Szondi (2010) also agrees that it is critical to engage diaspora living abroad in the Nation Branding strategy especially in PR context (if it is included in the strategy of branding) (340p.); however, this will be further elaborated in section 3.1.
2.3.

CONCLUSION

Nation Branding is by far the most complex branding form of all existing forms of branding, as it encompasses multiple

stakeholder groups, depends on many uncontrollable factors, can have many different target audiences with completely different backgrounds, and can be divided into many other nation subbrandings. However, Nation Branding cannot embrace one method or strategy that to be used by all nations, because every nation has different culture and values, and therefore, the best option for nations is to create their own strategies and carefully target the audience, as well as to select the appropriate stakeholders through the programme-specific inclusiveness to remedy country image deficits. Moreover, it is highly recommended to involve diaspora as a stakeholder group in the Nation Branding process, since the strategic development of diaspora networks might be a more effective way in building a strong brand than establishing advertisement campaigns. 3. PUBLIC RELATIONS Definition of Public Relations

Practitioners and academics are still debating the definition of Public Relations. However, Grunig and Hunt (1984) suggest a brief definition of PR, which is the management of communication between an organisation and its publics (Tench, 2008, 3p.). Despite this description, it is essential to discuss the aims of PR to understand its importance in the communication process with publics. According to White and Mazur (1996: 11) PR can be used to influence the behaviour of groups of people in relation to each other. Influence should be exerted through dialogue not monologue () acting as a strategic resource and helping to implement corporate strategy (Tench, 2008, 3p.). In this definition, two important concepts are mentioned that require some discussion. First, the authors emphasise "dialogue as opposed to "monologue", since PR provides practitioners with many different channels and tools to communicate with stakeholders, helping them to establish a mutual beneficial relationship. Secondly, the authors mention that PR is used to "influence the behaviour" of people, but it is important that "influence is not confused with "propaganda. Even though many journalists assert that propaganda describes what PR is (Tench et al., 2008, 267p.), the main difference between the concepts is that propaganda is a one-way communication tool, while the essence of PR lies, as already

discussed, on the dialogue between the organization and its audience. Furthermore, while propaganda seeks to manipulate public opinion, PR influences the attitudes of the public in a trustworthy and open-minded way (Machkova et al., 2010, 176p.). Models of Public Relations Two PR scholars, James E. Grunig and Todd Hund, have developed four models of PR in the 1980s. The models mainly differ in terms of communication and purpose (see appendix 4). The fact that propaganda is included as a purpose of the first model "press agentry / publicity also shows that it currently exists. Szondi (2010) asserts that negative branding, as the one in relation to Kazakhstans case (see section 1.2.), could be attributed to this type of PR model (338p.). The possible examples and explanations of other models will be proposed in the next section. Moreover, since in some cases propaganda can be considered as a part of PR, practitioners should pay more attention to the ethics of communication and eliminate

propaganda in PR messages. Impact of media on Public Relations Lastly, it is very important to mention the media, since it is the major intermediary of PR (Machkova, 2010, 176p.). According to Tench (2008), practitioners of PR should have the skills and

experience to choose the most suitable channels to reach target audiences with appropriate messages (312p.). Collaboration with the media is called Media Relations or publicity. In comparison to advertising, there is no payment for publishing PR messages. This is because PR practitioners cooperate with the media, and try to persuade journalists to publish specific messages, which is a reason why those messages are more effective than expensive advertising (idem, 176p.). However, this is a challenge for PR practitioners, as they have limited control over journalists, who possess creative

independence. Thus, it is critical to provide journalists with interesting information to gain their attention and influence them to produce desirable press releases. Finally, since the media is constructing the general publics opinion, Media Relations becomes an influential technique in offsetting negative publicity, protecting brand reputation, and informing the audience

(Machkova, 2010, 176p.).


3.1.

PUBLIC

RELATIONS

APPROACH

TO

NATION

BRANDING Use of Public Relations for Nation Branding Practitioners are highly interested in PRs contribution to Nation Branding. The link between these two concepts is apparent in the

previously given example about Lithuanias efforts to inform the United States public about Lithuania through hiring a PR practitioner for this job (Szondi, 2008, 3p.). Nowadays, this activity would be regarded as a typical Nation Branding campaign. Referring to the four models of PR, this strategy could be attributed to the second model, because the purpose was to inform the society about Lithuanias history and culture, but the fundamental plan was to influence the politicians of the United States. In short, Lithuania was "selling itself to the United States (see section 2.2.1.). Models for Public Relations in Nation Branding According to Szondi, the most popular model between nations that are branding themselves is a mix of the public information model and the two-way asymetric model (339p.). The latter is focused on research about audiences and their attitudes towards the nations to develop more persuasive and effective campaigns. However, the System Theory maintains that the ideal PR communication model is the two-way symmetric (Tench, 2008, 153p.). This might be true considering that it reflects the essence of PR in its best way the mutual understanding between the organization and its publics. Application and role of Public Relations in Nation Branding

When all four models are defined, it is important to look at how practically PR can be applied for Nation Branding. Szondi (2010) finds some typical examples on how PR could contribute to the Nation Branding process both internally and externally. First of all, PR can play a significant role in creating a favourable atmosphere and culture between the stakeholders, and providing strategic leadership and coordination among the institutions and other participants involved in the Nation Branding process (Szondi, 2010, 339p.). Another important role of PR is to build and maintain strategic relationships with domestic and

international media. It also must be stressed that PR monitors and evaluates media coverage abroad and identifies whether any improvements in Nation Branding are required. Referring to Anholt (2009) it would be a good idea to establish a national Media Centre, where the appropriate actors (e.g. Embassies) could facilitate and

coordinate Media Relations domestically and abroad, with particular attention and emphasis on diaspora communities to engage communities (Szondi, 2010, 339p.). 3.1.1. USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA FOR PUBLIC

RELATIONS IN NATION BRANDING

Moreover, to engage in open dialogue internally and abroad, nations should be more credible and build those relationships implementing Social Media tools, but countries are still focusing only on their country name dot com domains in order to engage with worldwide communities (Szondi, 2010, 340p.). One highly successful example that used Social Media for rebuilding its brand (in terms of tourism) is Iceland (Murphy, 2012). The countrys website (see appendix 5) is full of links to social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Vimeo and Tumblr. Page visitors can watch videos about Iceland that are very modern, playful, and creative. In one of the videos, the president of Iceland, lafur Ragnar Grmsson, is inviting tourists to visit his house and mentions that his wife would make pancakes for them (Vimeo: Inspired by Iceland). The idea behind this project was to promote tourism by introducing Iceland as a person that is friendly and welcoming. According to Hauksson of Nordiac eMarketing, "Iceland has experienced a nearly 20% growth in tourism in 2011 (Murphy, 2012). Undoubtedly, this case is one of the most successful examples on how to engage worldwide communities through relationship building in Social Media, and involving all citizens into the Nation Branding process.

Strategy development for Public Relations in Nation Branding One could agree that advertising through mass media is no longer powerful in todays highly critical society. As Sheth and Sisodia (2005) claim, people are consciously avoiding any marketing messages (341p.), and as a result, organizations and companies are making new and creative decisions to turn away from marketing and advertising. Nation Branding practitioners should do the same and consider the new customer behaviour trends. The successful Iceland case could serve as a perfect example on how to build relationships with the audience. Lithuania once tried to promote the nation through mass media channels as BBC and CNN (Park, 2008, 78p.), but the strategy did not bring any expected outcomes, which again proves that typical brand building processes through one-way communication and image management are not effective anymore. 3.2 CONCLUSION

In the section, the relevant aspects of PR were discussed in terms of Nation Branding. First of all, the importance of relationships between the stakeholders was stressed. Moreover, it was outlined that Media Relations play a significant role in the Nation Branding process, and that the nation has to establish a

Media Centre. Finally, similar to the Nation Branding section, the relevance of diaspora was maintained, and the suggestion to engage them into the communities was made. At the end it was claimed that Social Media can serve as a new and effective method to build relationships. The following chapter will be based on the analysis of Lithuanias efforts in building a Nation Brand and current perceptions of Lithuania in Denmark will be revealed. Afterwards, the final section of recommendations for Lithuanias image improvement in Denmark will be proposed, considering the findings and discussions about Nation Branding and PR theories. 4. LITHUANIAS BRAND In this section, the inputs to build Lithuanias brand will be discussed. This is necessary in order to analyse the current knowledge of Nation Branding in Lithuanias government and whether improvements are required. The recommendations for improvement will be proposed in Section 5. With reference to Park (2008), the history of Lithuanias Nation Branding strategies will be outlined. Furthermore, Saffrons (2009) strategy for Lithuanias economic brand will be discussed. EFFORTS IN BUILDING THE NATION

Initial branding efforts as a newly independent country The need for Nation Branding became critical in 1990, when Lithuania became an independent country that few people had knowledge of. In order to survive and "put itself on the map in the minds of foreigners, the country had no other option than to join the brandwagon (Metahaven, 2008) as Van Ham calls it, and compete for FDI, tourists, and enhance the countrys cultural and political influence by getting as much and as positive coverage in international media as possible. Indeed, Anholt (2009a) found that Nation Branding is all about Public Relations the attempt to persuade the media to cover your country as positively and frequently as possible (178p.). When Lithuania first hit the international newspapers headlines by becoming the first Soviet Republic to announce

independence, the image of Lithuania was mostly constructed as a small, weak, but fearless country (Park, 2008, 69p.). During the first years of independence, Lithuania tried to attract FDI by transitioning from a state-owned to a market economy, but when the 1992 elections were won by an ex-communist party, Lithuanias image became unattractive for potential investors, who associated the country with communism. Further government efforts in 1994 in launching a PR campaign for international media were also unsuccessful in changing the

negative perceptions of Lithuania. In addition, Lithuanias diplomats were unable to shape country coverage in the foreign media, leading Lithuanias reputation to be continuously

constructed by stereotypes and prejudicial media coverage. Subsequent branding efforts as an established democracy Lithuania realized the need of branding when NATO and the EU started debating the invitations of new members in the mid1990s. To be accepted by these institutions, Lithuanias Ministry of Foreign Affairs had to propose recommendations to improve the country's image. However, not all the recommendations were implemented and Lithuania was not invited to join NATO in 1998 (Idem, 73p.). Lithuania also did not either receive an invitation from EU, which the European Commission explained by blaming the poor country image (Ibid). Despite all these failures, the process of Nation Branding was still uncoordinated. According to Park (2008), many government-related structures were launching their own ad hoc campaigns on the countrys image at various events without any coordination (74p.), which explains the ineffectiveness of coordination in branding process? Factors that affected Nation Branding efforts Significant events that had a major, negative impact on Lithuanias image were crimes committed by Lithuanians after

emigrating to countries such as Spain, Germany, Britain, and the Scandinavian region (Idem, 75p.), around the year 2000. Media coverage of such activity resulted in terrible branding for the country. Even though at that time the economy was strong and had the highest GDP growth in the Baltic countries, the Economist wrote that Lithuania was the biggest but the most backward of the three Baltic States (Ibid). However, achievements in 2003 and 2004 finally improved Lithuanias image. Lithuanias basketball team won the gold medal in the European basketball championship, and Lithuania became a member of EU and NATO. These actions were probably affected by some of the Nation Branding strategies applied by the established Lithuanian Institute in 2001, which was responsible for the representation of the countrys cultural, artistic and diplomatic achievements abroad. In addition, the government was emphasising the opportunities for FDI in Lithuania and coordinating information on the Lithuanian state in 2003 (Ibid). Unfortunately, the information was not controlled effectively, since the international media was successfully spotlighting the surprising facts about Lithuania. This includes some articles written by the European media, where Lithuania was depicted as an extremely poor country, or the BBC report of Lithuania

supplying military equipment to Sudan in violation of an international embargo imposed on this country (Idem, 76p.). Moreover, since Lithuania was still not familiar to the rest of the world because of the poor branding, it has experienced similar case as Kazakhstan (see section 1.1.) when popular fiction writer Jonathan Franzen, in his best-seller "The Corrections decided to depict Lithuanias capital Vilnius as a place of hell, where shortages of energy resources and food were common, where people had to eat horses to stay alive, and where criminal groups allegedly ran the citys life (Ibid). Without a doubt, these and other similar contributions to Lithuanias image are constructing the overall perceptions of the nation in the minds of foreigners even though they are not true. Government's response to recent negative branding As a consequence, Lithuanias offices started debates about more serious Nation Branding strategies to remedy this uncontrolled situation. For this purpose, in 2005 the government announced the competition "Vivat, Lithuania! in order to receive the proposals from private PR companies to implement Lithuanias image (Idem, 77p.). After a year, three winners were announced, including two companies from Lithuania and one from the UK. Even though a lot of good ideas were proposed, most of them were not implemented. Much confusion arose when

the local media reported information about another company that was favoured by the government, resulting in the winning recommendations not being implemented (Idem, 78p.). As a result of this fiasco, no efforts in engaging various stakeholders into the process led the nation to being negatively viewed or barely known by foreign audiences. Private companies' efforts in Nation Branding Despite this, in 2009 Lithuanias capital Vilnius got the opportunity to become the European Capital of Culture. In order to promote Lithuania and enhance its image and profit from this spotlight, Lithuanias development team agency hired Saffrons brand consultants, as well as Wally Olins, one of the worlds leading branding gurus. In their guide, titled "Selling Lithuania smartly (Saffron, 2009), several recommendations for Lithuanias branding strategy encompassing the period between 2009 and 2014 are outlined. Finally some tangible benefits were apparent. However, it has to be stressed that the guide is mostly focussed on the economic development of Lithuania and how to attract FDI. No analysis is made to discover to what extent the perceptions about Lithuania abroad might influence the foreigners decisions to collaborate with Lithuanias businesses, to visit Lithuania for holiday or to show interest in Lithuanian culture and arts. Moreover, even though Saffrons guide suggests

many specific recommendations, such as changing Lithuanias perception from a post-Soviet nation to a Northern European (19p.), taking an advantage of holding European presidency in the second half of 2013 (147p.), organizing more jazz festivals or exporting Lithuanian music, the recommendations are still being implemented and thus it is not exactly known how advanced the development process is.

Summary of Nation Branding efforts Considering all the mentioned strategies, several major mistakes were done, which resulted in a lack of successful in changing the perceptions of Lithuania. First of all, it becomes apparent that for Lithuania the main difficulty is to manage its reputation, but it is not clear whose responsibility that should be. Lithuanias government was unable to decide upon the companies to create the Nation Branding strategy, and the information about it was kept away from the citizens. It should be noted here that the citizens of the country are also very important stakeholders that play a major role in the process of Nation Branding. Thus, it becomes critical to engage them into the strategy and dialogue with other stakeholders, which was not done in Lithuanias case. Besides bad communication or lack of it between stakeholders, too little attention is paid on Media

Relations. As Saffrons guide (2009) outlines, the ability to manage negative coverage in other countries would pay off hugely over time (128p.) Thus, the process of Nation Branding could be improved with communication between all stakeholders, and collaboration with foreign media. 4.1. DENMARK This section will draw upon the analysis of Danish peoples perceptions about Lithuania and its people. However, even though the perceptions of Lithuania may vary individually, this analysis will only reveal the general image that dominates in the minds of Danish people and are mostly reflected in the media coverage. There is a lack of information about Lithuania in Denmark First of all, it was identified that 70 per cent of Western Europeans did not know what, or where Lithuania is, which also includes Danish (Park, 2008, 77p.). This implies that Lithuania is not promoted enough in Western Europe. In addition, lack of information also shapes the image of the nations (Ham, 2008, 133p.), especially if the country is only known for two or three things, because then negative news in the media about the nation can constitute for a third or quarter of its entire reputation LITHUANIAS IMAGE IN

(Anholt, 2009a, 175p.). In brief, this might be the case for Lithuanias bad reputation in Denmark.

Negative information about Lithuania dominates Danish media Enevoldsen (2011) has made a study where she investigated all the articles about Lithuania in the biggest Danish National newspapers in the period from the 17th of June, 2010, to the 17th of June, 2011. Results revealed that in 13 out of 37 articles, Lithuania was negatively mentioned in the Danish media, for reasons such as crimes, immigration, working conditions, low industry salaries, outsourcing and homophobia (52p.). Moreover, recently there was an article published in The Copenhagen Post (see appendix 6) with a direct link to Lithuanians: "Middle and West Jutland Police have clearer statistics about the prevalence of foreign criminals and report that every third person they arrest is from Lithuania (Stanners, 2012). Despite this clear emphasis on Lithuanians criminality, the article includes another statement that reinforces negative perceptions and prejudices about Lithuanians: We have a real problem with Lithuanians coming here simply to commit crime, the police forces deputy chief superintendent, Michael Kjeldgaard, told Berlginske." (Ibid).

Even though the name of the article does not involve reference to Lithuanians (it is called "Rise in burglaries blamed on foreigners), only Lithuanian nationality is directly mentioned. No further analysis is required to realize that in the latter quote, Lithuanians are depicted stereotypically as criminals. As Anholt (2009) confirms, bad news seems to travel faster than good news (173p.), so for such a small country as Lithuania, the given example of negative coverage is a big challenge to overcome. 4.2. THE IMPORTANCE OF IMPROVING LITHUANIAS

IMAGE PRECISELY IN DENMARK The relation between peoples perceptions of a nation and their willingness to visit or cooperate with it is critical; therefore, it is important to manage the reputation of the country abroad. Moreover, a nations negative perceptions of another country can also have an impact on that countrys decision to cooperate, e.g. as it is reported in Saffrons guide (2009) Lithuanian business confessed to a reluctance to operate in Scandinavia, citing in part a vague feeling of being out-classed there by local business (81p.). Specific reasons for Lithuania's image improvement in Denmark are presented next. First, as it was previously mentioned (see section 1.1.), Denmark is one of the major FDI in Lithuania. The poor image of Lithuania

in Denmark could have a negative impact in the eyes of the new potential investors from Denmark, since they would consider other similar options, as Latvia or Estonia. Another reason is the increasing importance of Lithuanians in Danish daily life and its consequences. Many Lithuanians are choosing Denmark as an opportunity to study, work and live, and Anholt (2009b) argues that immigration can () create relevance between countries. British citizens might have become more interested in Lithuania as a result of encountering many workers in Britain (256p.). Therefore, negative perceptions and stereotypes could cause Danish employers to hesitate choosing Lithuanian employees, and Danish private enterprises to question contracting Lithuanian service providers. A third reason is that according to Eurostat statistics (2009), Danish are one of the best holiday spenders, but because their lack of awareness about Lithuania, they rarely choose it as a holiday destination (Enevoldsen, 2011, 4p.). Finally, a fourth reason is that negative perceptions might also have an impact on political and economic decisions, such as the Danish far-right Folkepartei representatives, who have already argued that Lithuanians should require visas to enter Denmark (Pavlovaite, 2001), which would obviously result in worsened relationships between the countries if it happened.

In conclusion, it is not only relevant for Lithuania to improve its image in Denmark and be able to compete with other states in the eyes of Danish investors, tourists, and employers. Denmark as a country could also benefit from an improved. In order to change this situation, some actions have to be implemented, and in an effort to accomplish this, the next section outlines recommendations and suggestions. 5. RECOMMENDATIONS FOR IMPROVEMENT THROUGH APPLYING PR In Saffrons guide (2009) it is well noted that perceptions cannot be erased, but only created (19p.), which implies that it is unlikely to erase negative Danish perceptions of Lithuania, such as crime. However, it is possible to change these negative perceptions by creating new ones. In this section, recommendations to improve Lithuania's image will be presented, considering the findings from the previous sections and applying the theories of Nation Branding and PR. Negative stereotypes about people is the main deficit in Lithuania's brand in Denmark In regards to the analysis of Lithuanias efforts to build the Nation Brand and Danish perceptions of Lithuania, it becomes apparent

that different aspects of Lithuanias image in Denmark are good (e.g. economic image, taking into the consideration that Suffrans recommendations are being implemented at this time), neutral due to lack of knowledge (e.g. tourism) and negative (e.g. stereotype that most Lithuanians are criminals). Thus, one could say that the deficit in Lithuanias brand in Denmark is precisely the perceptions about the people. The first recommendation is to involve all relevant

stakeholders According to Dinnie (2008), to remedy a nation image deficit, the programme-specific inclusiveness has to be applied for the specific cases, and the appropriate stakeholders have to be chosen. Considering that Lithuanias government was not able to identify the relevant stakeholders for the branding, the first recommendation is to involve the following stakeholders to improve the image in Denmark: government (only involved in the initial stage since it is programme-specific inclusiveness), Danish media (Danish newspaper editors, journalists, etc.), diaspora and a PR company. The PR company is the most active stakeholder in Nation Branding efforts

The government should hire a PR company capable of managing all long-term improvement processes. Nation Branding does not happen overnight and therefore, in order to change the existing perceptions of Danish people, a long-term strategy needs to be prepared. The PR company would also be responsible for good Media Relations with the Danish Media, and a Media Centre has to be established in order to coordinate the articles and information about Lithuania in Danish Media. The PR company could monitor those findings and in the case of incorrect or exaggerated information, contact the editors and ask for changes. Also, due to the importance of creating and maintaining relationships with Danish Media, the PR company should be responsible for providing Danish journalists with interesting events, encompassing positive news about Lithuania that would have to surpass the negative news. As it was discussed in the PR section, the organization (in this case PR company) cannot force the journalists to write positive news, but it can only persuade them by creating awareness and providing interesting information. The diaspora could be a valuable asset for Nation Branding efforts Another important stakeholder that should be involved is diaspora, which until now, has been excluded from the

Lithuania's Nation Branding process. Nevertheless, the diaspora has a huge impact on Lithuanias image in Denmark. Because of this, the Lithuanian community living in Denmark should be established, as it is possible to benefit from it. Diaspora's in Denmark have relevant knowledge, such as Danish language, and might have relevant contacts to reach and collaborate with the Danish Media. Lithuanian diasporas could even work or volunteer in the established Media Centre. Besides the diasporas engagement in Media Centre activities, it would be a good idea to engage it in cultural activities too. Lithuanian students and immigrants could promote Lithuanian culture and arts in Denmark, increasing the overall awareness of Lithuania in Denmark. The second recommendation is the use of Social Media Considering the mistakes done by Lithuania when branding the nation, it seems that one of the main problems was a lack of dialogue between the public and the government. The example of Icelands use of Social Media to interact with the public (see section 3.1.1) serves as an example on how to successfully create transparency and engage various stakeholders by using Social Media. Moreover, Social Media as a tool should also be used in engaging diasporas into the community by establishing a creative website and other platforms (Facebook, Twitter, blog,

etc.) for their communication and ideas sharing, creating a dialogue between all project stakeholders.

6. DISCUSSION

In this part of the thesis, new points of view and questions regarding this thesis will be presented in order to come up with a conclusion.

To begin, the methodology used can be criticized because of the choice of secondary research. Primary research could have been a better option to make a survey for understanding to what extent the image of Lithuania constructed by the Danish media is influencing the perceptions of individuals, as well as

understanding how it is affecting diaspora living in Denmark. This could have provided a completely different perception about the relevance of this issue, and would have possibly led to more specific recommendations based on empirical findings. Moreover, such a choice would give more knowledge about stereotyping construction and the extent to which people tend to believe in them.

In terms of the theory, Nation Branding is a relatively new field and therefore, not researched enough, since practitioners are still discussing its validity and practical application for nations based on product and corporate branding theories. However, the author of the thesis realized the importance of stakeholders when discussing Nation Branding theory and therefore, PR was chosen to complement it. Moreover, with the discussion of Nation Branding complexities (see section 2.2.), it became apparent that this theory can create confusion in the minds of practitioners because there is no one model that can be applied for all nations, and thus, the theory in practice becomes very specific and difficult to apply, depending on context and nations involved. As previously elaborated in this thesis, Nation Branding strategies are usually focused on global audiences. However, the discussion held in section 2.2.2 shows that the differences between cultures have a huge impact on peoples perceptions about other countries, which implies that the practitioners of Nation Branding should consider the differences of all the countries when (re-) branding the image of a nation on the global scale. For example, if Lithuania presents itself as a brave nation to the world, Georgians may interpret it as Lithuanians not being afraid to stand against more powerful countries as Russia, because Lithuania was (and still is) the main

initiator in supporting Georgia during their war with Russia (Durnan, 2009), whereas Danes might interpret it as Lithuanians being rebels with criminal tendencies. Because of these different national contexts and histories, the practitioners of Nation Branding should focus more on the communication between publics to establish mutually beneficial relationships, and through dialogue with stakeholders, find solutions to the specific deficits of the Nation Brand in particular countries. The ineffectiveness of advertising discussed in section 3.1 makes clear that the establishment of communication between the publics and the nation are more critical than ever and should be highly discussed by the Nation Branding practitioners. Last but not least, it is important to mention that the overall Nation Brand is affected by many external factors. The Nation Brand can barely be controlled and that becomes a huge challenge for nations. Thus, Lithuania should take into consideration that it is not enough to establish a Media Centre and engage diaspora, but that the problem of criminality also has to be solved. Nation Branding is nothing but a cherry that is just the final part of the cake.

7. CONCLUSION

In this thesis, the problem of Lithuania's negative image in Denmark was proposed. The identified reasons for this issue were Lithuanians' criminal stereotyping in Denmark, negative Danish media coverage concerning Lithuanias image, but mainly, Lithuanias inability to control its image in Denmark. Hence, the solution to improve the current image through applying Nation Branding and Public Relations theories was suggested. The discussion of Nation Branding theory revealed the fact that the process of building and maintaining the nations brand is relatively complex. However, it was found that Nation Branding shares many similarities with Corporate Branding, including the two main ones: managing reputation and relationships with stakeholders. As PR theory encompasses solutions for both issues, it is well suited to improve the nation's image. Moreover, the analysis of Lithuanias efforts in building its brand and improving its image abroad was presented, and the findings revealed that Lithuania was incapable of managing its reputation because there were no efforts made in establishing relationships with the media, which is partly responsible for Lithuanias image. Later on, it was discovered that Lithuania is depicted in Danish

media as a nation of criminals and therefore, appropriate recommendations were given, always considering the findings from the theories used. The answer to the problem statement, "How to improve Lithuania's image in Denmark?" was presented. In order to achieve this, several recommendations were chosen considering Nation Branding, PR theories and the mistakes previously committed by Lithuanias government in branding the nation abroad. First and foremost, it was established that all relevant stakeholders must work together in the Nation Branding efforts. The relevant stakeholders were identified as follows: Lithuanias government, Danish Media, Lithuanias diaspora living in Denmark, and a hired PR company. Also, appropriate roles were suggested for the two most active stakeholders in the Nation Branding efforts. The PR company would be responsible for managing and maintaining good relationships with the Danish media, which would be done through Media Relations and the establishment of a Media Centre. The diaspora would be engaged by establishing a community that seeks mutual collaboration and country promotion with the local population. Moreover, it was also recommended to use Social Media to

interact with the public and exchange ideas between the project stakeholders. Lastly, in terms of Social Constructionism, it has to be stressed that the recommendations made should not be considered as the only truth, but rather as a strategy backed up by relevant theories and suitable only for the discussed situation.

8. BIBLIOGRAPHY Brand States: Postmodern Power, Democratic Pluralism, and Design. (2008, December). Retrieved May 2, 2012, from eflux: http://www.e-flux.com/journal/brand-states-postmodernpower-democratic-pluralism-and-design/ The Anholt-GfK Roper Nation Brands Index. (2012). Retrieved May 2, 2012, from http://www.gfkamerica.com/practice_areas/roper_pam/place branding/nbi/index.en.html Anholt, S. (2009a). The media and national image. Place Branding and Public Diplomacy, 169-179.

Anholt, S. (2009b). 'Is this about me?' - The critical issue of relevance. Place Branding and Public Diplomacy, 253-259. Burr, V. (2001). What is social constructionism? . An introduction to social constructionism, 1-38. Consultants, S. B. (2009, March). Selling Lithuania Smartly: A guide to the creative-strategic development. Cromell, T. (2012). Why Nation Branding is Important for Tourism. Retrieved May 2, 2012, from East West Communications: Branding Nations to Compete Globally: http://eastwestcoms.com/res_why.htm Dinnie, K. (2008). Nation Branding: concepts, issues, practice. Elsevier Ltd. Evevoldsen, V. V. (2011). Attracting Danish tourist to Lithuania. Master Thesis. Copenhagen Business School. Fan, Y. (2005). Branding the nation: What is being branded? . Journal of Vacation Marketing, 5-14. Fan, Y. (2010). Branding the nation: Towards a better understanding. Place Branding and Public Diplomacy, 97103. Inspired by Iceland. (n.d.). Retrieved May 2, 2012, from http://www.inspiredbyiceland.com/ Inspired by Iceland. (n.d.). Vimeo. Retrieved May 2, 2012, from https://vimeo.com/38434839 Kotler, P., & Keller, K. L. (2009). Marketing Management (13th Edition). New Jersey: Pearson International Edition, Prentice Hall.

Machkova, H., Kral, P., & Lhotakova, M. (2010). International Marketing. Prague: Vysoka kola ekonomicka v Praze, Nakladatelstvi Oeconomica. Murphy, S. (2012, March 16). How Iceland Is Rebuilding Its Economy With Social Media. Retrieved May 2, 2012, from Mashable Social Media: http://mashable.com/2012/03/15/iceland-technology/ Park, A. (2009). 'Selling' a small state to the world: Lithuania's struggle in building its national image. Place Branding and Public Diplomacy, 67-84. Pavlovaite, I. (2001, March 19). News from Lithuania: all the important news since 10 March 2001. Retrieved May 2, 2012, from Central Europe Review: http://www.cereview.org/01/11/lithuanianews11.html Pratkanis, A. (2009). Public Diplomacy in International Conflicts: A Social Influence Analysis. In N. Snow, & P. M. Taylor, Routledge Handbook of Public Diplomacy (pp. 111-144). New York: Taylor & Francis. Stanners, P. (2012, April 24). Rise in burglaries blamed on foreigners. Retrieved May 2, 2012, from The Copenhagen Post: http://www.cphpost.dk/news/national/rise-burglariesblamed-foreigners Szondi, G. (2008). Public Diplomacy and Nation Branding: Conceptual Similarities and Differencies. Netherlands Institute of International Relations 'Clingendael'. Szondi, G. (2010). From image management to relationship building: A public relations approach to nation branding. Place Branding and Public Diplomacy, 333-343.

Tench, R., & Yeomans, L. (2006). Exploring Public Relations. Financial Times, Prentice Hall. van Ham, P. (2001). The Rise of the Brand State: The Postmodern Politics of Image and Reputation. Foreign Affairs, 80 (5). van Ham, P. (2008). Place Branding: The State of the Art. The ANNALS of the Americal Academy of Political and Social Science, 126-149. Wally Olins will work on Lithuanias economic image. (n.d.). Retrieved May 2, 2012, from Nation-Branding: http://nationbranding.info/2009/03/07/wally-olins-lithuania-economicimage/ Widler, J. (2007). Nation Branding: With pride against prejudice. Place Branding and Public Diplomacy, 144-150.

9. APPENDIXES 9.1. APPENDIX 1: THE NBAR MODEL (Dinnie, 2008, 200p.)

Nation brand

Tourism

Exports

Inward investment

Talent attraction

Sports

Umbrella brand Endorsed brands Standalone Brands

9.2. APPENDIX 2: THE NATION BRAND INDEX HEXAGON http://www.gfkamerica.com/practice_areas/roper_pam/placebran ding/nbi/index.en.html

9.3. APPENDIX 3: THE FIST APPROACH (Dinnie, 2008, 188p.)

Government

Public sector organizations

Private sector organizations

Citizens

1. Tourism board 2. Inward investment agency 3. Economic development agency

1. Trade associations 2. Chambers of commerce 3. PSC brands

1. Not-for-profit organizations 2. Diaspora

9.4. APPENDIX 4: FOUR MODELS OF PR (Grunig and Hunt 1984:22) (Tench, 2008, 147p.)

Characteristi cs Purpose

Press agentry / publicity Propagan da

Nature of communicati on

One-way; complete truth not essential Communicati Source of on model receiver

Public Informatio n Disseminati on of information One-way; truth important Source of receiver

Two-way asymmetr ic Scientific persuasio n Two-way; Imbalance d effects Source to receiver and feedback Formative; evaluative of attitudes

Two-way symmetric Mutual understandi ng Two-way; balanced effects Group to group and feedback Formative; evaluative of understandi ng

Nature of research

Little; counting house

Little; readability, readership

9.5. APPENDIX 5: INSPIRED BY ICELAND WEB SITE http://www.inspiredbyiceland.com/

9.6. APPENDIX 6: THE ARTICLE ABOUT THE LITHUANIAN CRIMINALS IN DENMARK http://www.cphpost.dk/news/national/rise-burglaries-blamedforeigners