Cred to Magnus Frödeberg for the picture
Working with PR in Sweden, you are quite used to the fact that few people know that your profession even exists. But whenever the monarchy is disqussed, suddenly everyone is a PR expert. This is so because the PR argument has become the main defense against the monarchy critics. “Having a monarchy is great PR for Sweden,” many say.
And they might actually be quite right, too. Some 2 500 journalists are as we speak conveying an image of Stockholm and Sweden and the royal wedding between Swedish Crown Princess Victoria and Daniel Westling. Some 500 Million viewers are expected, according to TV4.
And that’s just at this specific occassion. The interest amongst the interested is probably more worth for Sweden than the unease brought forward by the active critics.
For what constitutes a community is what they share, not what they don’t share. And in the eyes of the world, the Swedish monarchy serves a purpose as a reason to discuss what Sweden stands for.
A good example is the discussion of why the Crown Princess Victoria are “delivered” by her father at the wedding ceremony, His Majesty Carl XVI Gustaf, an arguable old-fashioned tradition. But this causes discussion because Sweden is progressive (relatively) when it comes to womens rights, otherwise the story wouldn’t even be told.
But what about the PR value? Besides being an enormous branding and a large-scale community excercise? First, we have trade and tourism effects, of course. But how to measure this? The positive effects can always be measured to some extent, but how to measure the alternative; the positive effects of having a Swedish republic, when none exist?
I honestly don’t know. But from a PR tactical standpoint, I would argue that either a nation decides do the monarchy thing “all-in” (except the ruling of the nation part, of course) – or not at all.
Personally, I’m a republican. I can’t for the life of me defend the fact that individuals are born into official power. But as long as we in fact do have a monarchy, it would be a waste of a series of important PR opportunities for a community not to invest in castles, royal travels, and of course – fairy tale weddings.
- About the term “PR” in Scandinavia (scanpr.blogspot.com)
- Why I think the Monarchy is great (liberalconspiracy.org)
- In praise of Monarchy (stumblingandmumbling.typepad.com)
- His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden: The Frank Interview (royalcorrespondent.com)