WorldPR launches Global Leadership Ranking

First ever ranking by brand image of 214 countries and global financial centres

September 2013 - WorldPR, the international communications agency founded by veteran PR, Patrick Robertson, is delighted to announce the publication of its 2013 Global Leadership Ranking. In its press release the company stated:

There are 214 countries and autonomous financial centres in the world and they compete daily for trade and investment, industry and tourism, and regional and international influence. 


The successful countries are the ones with compelling brands. But while all nations aspire to possess a positive brand, countries are not corporations and impactful images that last the test of time cannot be artificially implanted. A country's reputation is acquired over its lifetime, often spanning many centuries, and its brand is the sum total of its historical, political and cultural inheritance. Understanding what this footprint actually means, and turning it to positive advantage, requires knowledge, experience and insight. Successful nation branding campaigns are the ones that try to play to a country's genuine core strengths and recognise how to blend its historical legacy with the government's modern-day aspirations.

WorldPR's Global Leadership Ranking has been developed as a practical aid to help us understand where our clients stand compared to their closest competitors on the issues that matter most to them: trade, inward investment, tourism and international profile and influence. It is an empirical tool based on precise mathematical calculations of the number of times a country is mentioned in different contexts across more than one hundred global databases and search engines.

Patrick Robertson, CEO, explains what makes WorldPR's Global Leadership Ranking unique:

"Unlike other nation branding indexes, which tend to offer a subjective opinion based on a simplified definition of what is 'positive' and 'negative', our ranking provides an immediate and accurate snapshot of a country's salience or 'brand recognition factor' across six different measures of how it is perceived, including trade, investment and tourism.

Crucially, our methodology does not suppress the rankings of countries with negative brands because these too can be turned to advantage, for example by a new government intent on reform. If negative country-brands appear higher in our ranking than they do elsewhere, that is because we have accurately reflected their prominence in the world's reporting of contemporary events."

It stands to reason that is much easier to develop a positive brand image for a country, and convert negative perceptions of it into favourable ones, if the audiences you are talking to have actually heard of the country and know something about it.

That is why salience is so important, and why it is more important than having no brand image at all, or even a negative brand. I have absolutely no doubt that our focus on measuring salience not only leads to a more accurate ranking of a country's brand, but also provides a better guide to how to change or improve it."


One of several recent examples of a deeply negative country-brand whose government has leveraged its high international salience to excellent effect, is Myanmar. In less than two years Myanmar has radically changed its image, secured a visit to its capital by Barack Obama, and become a sought-after target for regional investment. Compare this to the efforts of some of the countries of the former Soviet Union which continue to struggle to correct out-dated Western preconceptions, notwithstanding their often impressive record in economic growth and democratic reform, largely because of their relatively low international recognition factor.

A fully developed communications plan to promote the country brand is crucial, according to Patrick Robertson:

"If you are a country in search of a positive brand image, getting the right concept for your brand is very important. But that is only the first stage of the process. You also need a bold, detailed and sustainable PR plan to raise the profile of your country, and you must be ready to get out there and do and say things that attract the rest of the world's attention. There is not much point in investing in a new brand image if you are not ready to sell it."