LAST CALL: Estonia is kicking around PR ideas

Seems like everyone's at this rebranding lark. Following the likes

of Philadelphia and Taiwan (see Last Call, last week), Estonia's at it

as well.



It would appear that successful market reforms and being a front-runner

for membership of the European Union aren't enough for the tiny European

country, which has commissioned a 14-member group to reinvent its

image.



However, members of the committee have failed to agree on a positioning

yet. Environmentalists push for an eco-tourism approach. A journalist

seeks an embrace of ethnic diversity. A business school representative

said the nation should call itself a 'Nordic start-up,' a reference to

Estonian information technology businesses. A fashion photographer has

lobbied for Estonia to use Estonian fashion models including Carmen Kass

(US Vogue's 2000 model of the year) as goodwill ambassadors.



Of course, mere name recognition might be the first step. An Estonian TV

reporter asked New Yorkers what they thought of the word Estonia. They

thought it was a soccer team.



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