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Nation States Show Green PR Fingers at World’s Biggest Garden Show June 14, 2010

Posted by kewroad in green marketing, green pr, pr.

 A recent visit to the Chelsea Flower Show reminded me of how nation states continue to reach for flower pots and spades rather than guns and soldiers to fight their brand wars.  

Nation branding is a concept popularised by Simon Anholt and examines how nation states can build positive brand values  around the quality of their people, culture, business acumen and politics. Simon would argue that nation branding isn’t simply about marketing but good, clear lines of communication with consistent messaging are important to how a nation state presents a positive image. 

 The show gardens at Chelsea are among the ultimate PR power vehicles, costing millions and burnishing the brands of banks, newspapers and retailers.  And increasingly they are joined by nation states for the same purpose.  Malaysia, Australia and Norway all deployed gardens to communicate a variety of powerful messages. And it’s not all about tourism. Take the Norwegian garden for example which showcased new building materials, solar cells and ethanol home heating technology alongside the planting. 

 The ROI of  this approach? The costs are probably astronomical but a successful garden that embodies your key messages – luxury, calm, green, cool, welcoming, open, beautiful – gets round the clock television coverage in HD for seven days on the prime BBC channels and websites as well as performing as the perfect spot for a bit of networking in the sun (or rain).


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