Call it the Romania brand, call it the image of Romania, call it what people think of when they hear the words “Romanian” or “Romania”. Whatever you choose, it has huge problems and a lot of people still make offending faces when finding out someone is Romanian or when hearing news about this country.
I’ve read quite a few news on how a new campaign had been launched, about how I don’t know what design company has been paid too much for a logo design that sucks. All the stories on how others wrongfully perceive us immediately make it to all mainstream media. And what happen when there’s a piece of great news to be told about Romanians and their achievements? Not much!
Did you know the first person to win a race on the new Singapore circuit was a Romanian driver? Did you know the first national anthem to be played there was hours? I only found out through a blog post by a Romanian PR blogger who has complaining how no one is talking about it. She also gave everyone the link of the official BMW Formula announcement (photo credit also goes to them) on Doru Sechelariu‘s victory.
Yesterday I googled his name, hoping from some more relevant news to appear in the result page. Did it happen? Not really. Two important sites had some news about them, the best results were for a regional paper, and one of the major sports newspapers that actually had published a piece about it didn’t appear on the first 3 pages. Yet, Loredana, the blogger initially talking about the news told me they published a short piece in “Other Sports”.
Who’s responsible for our country’s international image? Yes, the government plays it’s part, not extremely good, but the press should really pitch in to let us know how great our country really is, so that we can be confident enough to spread the word even further. The first major problem of our country’s brand is that we don’t believe in it, we’re not loyal, and don’t feel like giving it good reviews.
When my aunt was told in an Italian airport that some rules are only enforced for Romanians because they try to circumvent so many laws, did she or any other countryman think to say that was a discriminatory policy? When news of how certain people of Romanian citizenship (I refuse to debate ethnicity here) did something wrong are heard, do we at least try some kind of defense? How many of us want to live the country because they can get a huge house on the Rhine with the same price they’d pay for a one room apartment in Bucharest?
It’s like having eveyrone in the Coca-Cola team or Nike team or L’Oreal team believing their products are really bad, there’s no change of anything changing in the future and they can either change jobs or accept things as they are.
Then again, having negative comments and articles coming your way won’t stop after sending a few letters to foreign politicians or having some nice videos shown at travel and tourism events. Others are really working on promoting their countries: take a look at Turkey who has posters spread throughout Western Europe!
First people have to really find out about our country. Then it would be great if they’d receive more positive messages, not all this negativity. But to achieve this we need to work a little on ourselves and everything we have to offer, then at least know about our own values and further promote them abroad.
It’s nice that we mention some Olympic gold medals and all that. But letting such breaking news go by is really stupid. Formula 1 is big in Romania, so one could assume there are quite a lot of poeple who enjoy fast cars racing, so Formul BMW is not that far fetched.
But as a friend says, all the sport news over here aren’t even about football anymore, they are about football gossip. Which really contradicts everything the Journalism faculty ever tought us…Maybe we should all pitch in and build our country a really amazing Marketing and PR strategy! I know we can. Some have already started.