SMALL EMBASSIES NEED EXCELLENT ONLINE TOOLS
By Thomas Cromwell
In today’s competitive global environment, diplomatic missions are increasingly required to focus on marketing the countries they represent in addition to providing traditional services. Yes, they will likely always have consular responsibilities, from serving diaspora communities to issuing visas to visitors, but the way to justify their cost to government is through effectively promoting foreign investment, exports and travel/tourism.
However, many embassies and consulates have to manage their affairs with very limited staff and insufficient funds, making it difficult for them to perform the wide range of duties expected of them.
A typical shortfall at diplomatic missions is that nobody answers the phone and callers are forced to navigate sometimes mysterious menus of confusing options (should I press extension 234 for the commercial attaché or 237 for the economic minister?) or are unable to leave messages due to full voice mail boxes.
Websites can be helpful and are a cost-effective way to mitigate the impact of limited resources, but some 30 embassies in Washington don’t have a website at all, or only one in the home country language. On some embassy websites information is out of date and hence useless, while email addresses and phone numbers no longer work.
And if someone is interested in investing in a country or importing its products or services, whom should they contact? What are the relevant laws and regulations? Which companies are potential business partners?
Like companies competing against rivals for market share, countries are competing against other countries for investment, trade and tourism dollars. Effective online platforms are the best way to maximize the impact of limited marketing resources.
For many diplomatic missions representing smaller countries, lack of resources is understandable, but not acceptable. If you have a budget for an office and staff, it is of critical importance to have a well-designed and informative website and up-to-date information on trade, investment and tourism.
To address this need, Wheathill, a company affiliated with DiplomaticTraffic.com, is offering a package that includes a quality website and country business gateway (which features investment, trade and tourism opportunities).
Wheathill understands that with the constant change of personnel at embassies it is useful to have an outside provider make sure that the websites are properly maintained and that the information on them is kept up to date.
For information about the web-based services offered to diplomatic missions by Wheathill, download this flier, or write info@Wheathill.co.