This is the essence of branding, and Country Branding is not an exemption. Every single country is what she communicates.
The input you receive from a place makes you have an opinion about it. Your opinion about it is the result of the impact the messages launched by that place made in you.
I am passionate about communication and I am also passionate about enthusiasm. The difference between communicating and communicating with enthusiasm is infection. To infect people with your message is the essence of communication.
This seems too simple, but I could give dozens of examples of prestigious Communication Plans, actions, advices and gurus that have a total lack of it. They even do not know how to soak their messages with enthusiasm.
“What I do best is share my enthusiasm” – Bill Gates
I have just read this just after going through an interview he gave to a Spanish newspaper, before meeting president Rajoy.
What he says in that interview is really interesting, as he transmits what he wanted to: There are specific problems and there are specific solutions. Let´s act in the right place.
Gates talks about very specific situations, naming them. He even points at what countries are doing wrong: “There are places in more need than others that are receiving aid. Peru is not the place to help.” Although I read that a few hours ago, the newspaper has immediately changed this title. It was not politically correct, specially on a Spanish newspaper.
He meant Peru is a medium income country. He meant there are many other countries with much lower incomes and no possibilities. The message Mr Gates has launched here has made many people be aware of the real situation. He talks about what he touched. And he wants global, national policies on International Cooperation to redirect humanitarian and medical aid to the place the real problem is.
I was infected by his message. Was it enthusiastic? Not in the sense we are used to understand it. But it was, as he put on it all his conviction, knowledge and strong willing to transmit. It reached me.
This visit of Mr Gates to Madrid has also made me think about US brand. Is it a part of it or is it -as I received it- a part of a particular campaign to make people aware of a real humanitarian problem? I received it apart from any national branding campaign. And, moreover, following every day Barack Obama´s tweets, just focused on the presidential campaign and its funding.