Official: The Islamic State Now Has a Stronger International Brand than The Vatican


“These results show that ISIS now has a higher international brand recognition than the Vatican, eclipsing a 2,000 year head start by the Papacy.   ISIS has managed to magnify its image by manipulating the global news media - starting with using their preferred branding: 'Islamic' and 'State' when they are neither.”

Prof. Colleen Graffy
US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy (2005 - 2009)


The most astonishing result from the publication today of the WorldPR Global Leadership Ranking 2015© is that the international brand recognition of the “Islamic State” (or ISIS) has now surpassed the Vatican.   ISIS’s terrorist atrocities, destruction of ancient cities and violation of some of the world's most treasured artefacts have afforded it greater prominence in the West than that of the world’s most sacred centre of Christianity.   As the British police investigate the disappearance of a 33-year-old mother and her four children, believed to be "Syria-bound", lawmakers are questioning whether the wall-to-wall Western media coverage of ISIS brutalities is actually encouraging recruitment to the terrorist organisation.

pr-newsWorldPR's Founder and CEO Patrick Robertson stated today: "There are more than 214 countries and autonomous financial centres in the world that compete, sometimes quite fiercely, for trade and investment, industry and tourism, and regional and international influence.   Most countries want to acquire a positive brand, but the truth is that just being 'put on the map' is likely to produce better results in terms of trade and investment than being blanked by the media.   It is deeply disturbing to see a terrorist group adopt the mantra of a sovereign state and seize global media attention through acts of barbarism."

Every country needs a strong recognisable brand and wants to know where it stands on the world stage.   The WorldPR Global Leadership Ranking 2015© is the result of painstaking academic research to develop a practical and reliable tool for assessing the needs of countries in their relations with other countries.   Relying on objective statistical measurement, it offers an accurate snapshot of where the world's 193 countries and 18 leading autonomous territories stand.

WorldPR's Consultant Head of Research, Dr. Debra Buchholtz, who is based in Oxford, today said: The WorldPR Global Leadership Ranking 2015© is unique among such nation branding rankings, not just because of its objective, mathematical methodology, but because it recognises that a valuable brand is rarely achieved without prior recognition among international communities, be it negative or positive.   It is therefore well placed to uncover unexpected and sometimes alarming trends, such as ISIS overtaking the Vatican in terms of international brand recognition in the past twelve months."


Click here to access the WorldPR Global Leadership Ranking 2015©, and click here to join the debate on Facebook.



Nan Richards appointed Chairman (Non-Executive)

WorldPR, the international communications agency founded by veteran PR Patrick Robertson, is delighted to announce the appointment of Nan Richards, the highly respected international media executive and former President of CNN's parent company, Turner Broadcasting System Europe, as its Chairman (Non-Executive).

Patrick Robertson, CEO, said today: "Nan Richards is a very distinguished media executive with a wealth of international experience.   She has established a reputation for effectiveness and innovation on both sides of the Atlantic during a 25-year career in which she has launched and run high-profit and high profile businesses in competitive and fast moving markets."

From 1992 to 2007 Nan worked at TBS based in London, serving in various roles including as President of Turner's European media assets, which include CNN, Cartoon Network, Cartoonito, CNToo, TCM and the company's joint ventures throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa.   In addition, she was part of the core team that launched Cartoon Network in Asia Pacific and India.   While at TBS, Nan was responsible for long term strategy, driving growth initiatives, developing new markets and revenue streams, launching new business units, marketing, public relations, sales, creative, production and brand development.   As President of Turner Europe, she was responsible for a staff of over 400 with 6 offices in the region.  

Nan Richards said today: "Patrick has for two decades pioneered highly creative, original and successful campaigns for both corporate and government clients.   He and his team have acquired a valued reputation for achieving results and facing down even the most difficult international challenges.   I am thrilled to join WorldPR's worldwide team of consultants because it has a unique international footprint and possesses the skills, languages and connections essential today to reach out across cultural frontiers."

WorldPR is a full-service communications agency, catering to the needs of institutions and individuals who think globally.   Its clients are established global brands, government leaders and international entrepreneurs.   Its expertise, developed over more than twenty years, is in the field of corporate and government communications, international media and advertising campaigns, and crisis management.  

Nan's numerous past and present executive directorships include the Hospital Group, a private Members' Club with production and recording facilities owned by Paul Allen's Vulcan Ventures; the Performance Theatre, Oslo; CNN+ 24-hour Spanish news channel; n-tv, a 24-hour German News Channel; and Viva Music, a German music channel. Nan was most recently the Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Phorm, a publicly listed global personalisation technology company that makes content and advertising more relevant to consumers. Phorm is a US company with offices in London, NY, Sao Paulo and Seoul.

lou-gretherLouise Gréther

Louise Gréther has joined WorldPR as Senior Consultant (Europe) and will operate from her base in Monaco.   From 2004 to 2009 Louise worked as Director of Business Development at the London-based Business Intelligence and Investigations Practice of Kroll, the world's largest risk consultancy company.   In this capacity she was involved in numerous business intelligence, strategic advisory and dispute and litigation consulting assignments.   Among her responsibilities was the development of Kroll's business in EMEA and the international hedge fund sector.  

Louise has a Master's Degree in Politics from Edinburgh University and a diploma from the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University in Washington DC.   She began her career as a researcher on the celebrated BBC television programme 'Crimewatch'.   She subsequently moved to Glaxo Wellcome as an external consultant and business analyst in 1999.   Among Louise's varied career experiences she has been a long term EU election observer in Pakistan, Madagascar, Nigeria and Indonesia and supervised and monitored elections on behalf of the OSCE in former Yugoslavia, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Ethiopia, Russia and Georgia.   Louise is married with two daughters and speaks fluent French.