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Sunday, 23 October 2016


Saakashvili’s new PR move

2010-01-19 17:09

5117.jpegGeorgian president Mikheil Saakashvili announced the start of a campaign advertising Georgia and its health resorts. Info spots and programs on Georgia's tourism potential will be broadcast on all international channels including BBC and CNN which, as Saakashvili thinks, will contribute to making the country popular worldwide. Will this PR move help Georgia create a positive country image?

According to Saakashvili in 5-6 years' time Georgia will have ten winter and several modern ski locations and a new ski route will be constructed in Bakuriani to become the world's hit.


GeorgiaTimes correspondent asked mass media specialists and politologists about the need to launch international advertising campaign and the dividends Georgia will get.

Comment by Margarita Simonyan, Russia Today editor-in chief:

Georgian ads on Western international channels have already been broadcast. I saw them for nearly a month this autumn on TV monitors in my office. We must ask the Georgian Ministry for Tourism about their efficiency: has the flow of travelers gone up or not? On the whole a great lot of countries presented their videos on BBC and CNN. Recently Poland announced it is the cradle of democracy, they had a very nice video. "India - Incredible India" video is still on. Everyone around the world knew "Malaysia truly Asia" slogan a couple years ago. This also was an ad. Does that attract travelers? It's hard to say. I need to see figures. But it won't be useless for the country, no doubt. It's important that it would be useful for the country, not for its president. I would like to wish Georgia all sorts of success, in tourism too. And there is nobody who would be able to help Saakashvili personally. A tie-chewing man live on global TV channels that tells lies to the whole world after shelling civilians whom he had referred to as his people in public - any audience has nothing but resentment and disgust toward him, and no ad will do any him good.

Yuri Melitonyan, European Broadcasting Unione (Euronews Russia) consultant.

Is this PR move aimed at improvement of Georgia's image or the image of Saakashvili given ambiguous attitude to him in the West?

The latter, I guess. Country advertising on TV is not the best thing to do. Such ads go better for certain personalities.

Is this move connected with Georgia's need in new financial inflows?

Image creation in the West (Saakashvili can get money only there) accounts for Georgia's attention to the world's biggest banks. The banks won't give money until the country acquires a positive image.

Will advertising on CNN and BBC yield a required result?

If the advertisements are contrary to the actions of the current Georgian leaders it will look more like adverse publicity.

Dmitry Oreshkin, director of Mercr Group, a senior research worker of the Institute of Geography with the Russian Academy of Sciences

Is this PR aimed at improvement of Georgia's image or the image of Saakashvili given ambiguous attitude to him in the West?

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