The government’s GREAT campaign to promote the UK overseas has been hailed by the National Audit Office (NAO).

According to a report by the body, the initiative has enabled state bodies to adopt “consistent and effective brand management” and work towards clear objectives.

This, it said, marks a change from the days when there was “no consistent approach to country branding”.

The NAO also praised the Cabinet Office for supporting the GREAT campaign with strong marketing and communication tools and materials, as well as improving how it has been delivered over time by using evidence to inform its actions.

Government estimates suggest £113.5 million worth of investment in the GREAT campaign will yield £1.2 billion worth of returns, although it should be stressed this is based on projected as well as actual spending by tourists, businesses and students.

Amyas Morse, Head of the NAO, therefore believes achieving the full return depends on whether people’s intentions to spend does translate to real transactions.

“To optimise value for money in future, the campaign needs to allocate resources based on a clear analysis of which partners are likely to generate economic activity of proven benefit to the UK economy,” she commented.

The GREAT campaign was launched three years ago ahead of the London Olympics to showcase the country’s various attributes, such as its cultural heritage and suitability as a place for businesses to invest in.

Exploiting the UK brand overseas, National Audit Office

Posted by Robin McCrink