Albania seeks image makeover with global contest backed by Alastair Campbell

The Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama has launched a contest to rebrand the country and move its image away from stereotypes of corruption and communism, with the help of Alastair Campbell.

Edi Rama: Recently elected Albanian Prime Minister (Credit: Silverfish Media)
Edi Rama: Recently elected Albanian Prime Minister (Credit: Silverfish Media)

Rama and the Albanian government are searching for a PR, marketing, branding or ad agency to develop a branding campaign to create a new identity for the country, promoting its image as a tourist destination and place for investment.

Writing about the contest on the PRWeek Blog, Campbell says: "They know they have a problem internationally, with a lot of the focus on the hangover from communist dictatorship, or today on corruption, organized crime and other negatives."

"Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama launched a global ‘Branding Albania’ contest via twitter, saying that #nextgenerationalbania would bring a ‘beautiful spring’ to Albania’s somewhat hard and wintry image."

Campbell is supporting the contest after working with Rama and the Albanian Socialist Party on the election campaign which brought them to power last year.

"I got involved with Edi Rama’s campaign in opposition, and have stayed involved now he is Prime Minister, because I got to know the region during the Kosovo war, liked it, found it fascinating politically and historically, as well as strategically important," he explained. "Countries which try to change for the better deserve support in trying to change."

Mark Lucas, founder and director of Silverfish Media, worked with Rami and Campbell on the election campaign. He said the image overhaul was the next step from the initial campaign which sought to position Albania as a modern, colourful and energetic country among voters.

"It's not just a marketing excercise, it connects to changing the country," added Lucas, who also worked with the Labour party on UK election campaigns from 1997 to 2010.

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, whom Campbell served as director of comms, also provided strategic advice to the Socialist Party in the run-up to last year's elections in the country, and is currently advising the Albanian government on its efforts to join the European Union.

The contest, which is open until 30 April, has already attracted 54 applications from countries including the UK, Italy, Spain, Hong Kong and the US, including CNN International, according to Campbell.

Read more from Campbell on rebranding Albania, on the PRweek Blog. 

Watch footage from Rama's election campaigning below.

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