Learn about Brand Lithuania Unit at the Office of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania's entry for Best Citizen Engagement.
Entered by Brand Lithuania Unit at the Office of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania
Since 1996, Lithuania has made several attempts to build a national brand. Historically, these have been primarily unsuccessful. There have been several reasons for this, one of which is the disapproval and distrust of the general population impeding the success of the projects. There has been no consensus between experts and the general public regarding the core values and features of the nation’s brand. Moreover, the population has had very few opportunities to be involved in the process and there have even been cases where the opinion of the general public was ignored. Taking into consideration the previous lessons learned, the Brand Lithuania Unit launched a broad consultation with the Lithuanian society. The Brand Lithuania Unit has developed Lithuania’s DNA project, the goal of which is to involve the general public in the discussion on how Lithuania should be presented abroad. Parallel to Lithuania’s DNA project, the Office of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania has initiated a large-scale project - the analysis of Lithuania’s image, and awareness abroad and in Lithuania, the objective of which is to gather information on how foreigners and Lithuanians see Lithuania, the country’s reputation and Lithuania’s identity. Within this framework, qualitative and quantitative surveys have been conducted locally and in 14 external countries. At the same time, the Brand Lithuania Unit organised 4 conferences for public sector representatives with a view to strengthening the stakeholders’ involvement in the project.
The national broadcaster LRT became the main project information partner. Several discussions on the country’s strengths and national identity were broadcast on national radio and TV to help the Brand Lithuania Unit reach as wide an audience as possible. At the same time, influencers were also engaged in the project to share their opinion, through the www.lietuva.lt website, on what Lithuania meant to them.
The project lasted 8 months, while the active campaign took 1 month, reaching over 400,000 individuals. The Brand Lithuania unit also participated in an information stand at various youth festivals and fairs and invited visitors to complete an online survey on Lithuania’s DNA. To improve the visibility of the project and to raise awareness about its importance, the Brand Lithuania Unit started looking for wider PR opportunities for project presentation, and an advertising campaign on Lithuania’s DNA was launched. This included an online survey in which Lithuanians were informed of the Government’s attempts to build a country brand and asked to contribute their views and feedback. 6,000 surveys discussing how Lithuania should be presented abroad were completed.
Therefore, the team met the primary objective of engaging society in the discussion on how Lithuania should be presented abroad. In addition, the team were informing everyone about the project, raising awareness of its importance, and building a continuous project reputation. This resulted in a strengthening of inter-institutional cooperation and an improved image of the Government and other public authorities whilst building on the aspects of openness and creativity.
The project involved both the general public and various public authorities. Ministries and public authorities invited their staff to complete the questionnaire at www.lietuva.lt while spreading project-related information on their websites and social networks. Furthermore, the public sector staff involved in country branding and presentation attended 4 conferences to discuss Lithuania’s image and ways for its presentation in the world.
Special visuals were designed for communication across social media by Brand Lithuania Unit as well as via institutions, Lithuanian DNA giveaways/souvenirs & press releases. The Brand Lithuania Unit appeared regularly in discussions on brand development on radio and TV. The related website www.lietuva. it was specifically adjusted to the needs of the project for the population to complete the questionnaire and have their say on how Lithuania should be presented in the world.
The Lithuanian DNA project helped to better canvas overall opinion on how Lithuanians see their country and the project also provided opportunities for everyone to discuss how Lithuania could develop its world image.