Bangkok, 14 September 2023: The new government must earnestly prioritize “Soft Power” strategies. By engaging professionals, Thailand’s global presence can be amplified, broadening opportunities for Thai brands and businesses.

Dr. Phot Jaichansukkit, the President of the Thailand Public Relations Association, disclosed that after Thailand’s recent election and the subsequent policy announcements by the new government, the nation has been closely watching. The new government represents a beacon of hope for every sector. Despite lingering political tensions, citizens and entrepreneurs are eager for its swift establishment. Unfortunately, recent policy announcements have been somewhat general, with crucial details missing. Yet, the potential directions of the government’s priorities can be discerned.

Management and resolution of the country’s crucial issues, from the household economy to the macro level

It must be admitted that in the past, the majority of the population faced various challenges. These included the rising cost of living, essential goods becoming more expensive, increased water and electricity bills, and growing household debts. These widespread problems inevitably affected people’s purchasing power, which in turn impacted the production and industrial sectors. It’s evident that, even though the Thai economy isn’t in its worst state—primarily due to support from the tourism sector—the production and export figures have been consistently negative. Furthermore, the issues of inequality and the tax structure stand as the country’s most significant challenges awaiting solutions.

The new government, therefore, has focused on allocating the majority of its budget to stimulate the economy, based on the populist policies that were campaigned on. Rather than swiftly addressing issues stemming from fundamental structures, if the government succeeds, it will spur only short-term consumption. There’s an urgent need to establish a foundation for long-term societal stability.

In addition, opinions from the public and discussions in parliamentary meetings suggest accelerating the resolution of other significant issues beyond those of economic and social structures. These encompass effective public utility management, improving the quality of life and well-being for citizens, addressing crime and online threats, increasing national income, creating opportunities for the country, innovating in agriculture, promoting the digital economy, leveraging knowledge, fostering advanced innovations, offering opportunities for technology exchange to elevate the production and business sectors, supporting human resource development and highly skilled labor, fostering collaborative development between the public and private sectors, adjusting political perspectives from conflict to collaboration, and enhancing Thailand’s “Soft Power” to reflect its brand and prominence on the global stage.

Promoting “Soft Power” to enhance the confidence and appeal of Thai brands and businesses on the global stage

While the current government’s policy isn’t entirely clear, it does place appropriate emphasis on promoting investment and tourism. This emphasis is crucial for the country to maintain a dignified position on the global stage. In the past, foreigners were eager to see the new government’s stance and promotional policy framework: specifically, how it would differentiate from the previous approach and the nature of the promotions on offer.

Another notable point is the importance of communication in creating value for the country and generating interest. This encompasses public relations, media branding, and the country’s image, which is characterized by its unique identity and directed towards establishing “Soft Power”. This mission is one that the government and affiliated entities should prioritize, leveraging experts in communication to develop strategies, content, activities, and media designs that are in sync with the objectives and evolving patterns of media consumption and reception.

In terms of establishing the country’s “Soft Power”, it’s crucial to clearly define Thailand’s core brand concept and the goals they aim to achieve. This entails aspects that should be created, refined, and expanded upon, drawing on various strengths. Promotions should encompass tourist destinations, cultural arts, traditions, and endorsements by renowned and distinctive artists. They should also highlight lifestyle, safety, investment-friendly policies, strategies to address societal structural issues, and the credibility of leaders on the international stage. Importantly, having effective and trustworthy plans to address various crises is essential, ensuring that all sectors, both public and private, operate in harmony.

The matter of “Soft Power” significantly impacts the image or brand of a country and should be a top priority. It can’t be compartmentalized into individual sectors. It isn’t solely the responsibility of the Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Prime Minister’s Office, or the Tourism Authority of Thailand. Instead, it demands a holistic and integrated approach, involving numerous entities like the Ministry of Industry, Ministry of Commerce, Ministry of Education, key private sectors, social sector organizations, and professional organizations, among others. Everyone must unite, guided by their respective roles and potential, and move in a unified direction. Dedicated organizations with clear goals, plans, strategies, and operational guidelines are essential. Managing the content and format of national communication is crucial since the image involves conveying content, trust, emotions, commitment, and attitudes that require persistent, strategic communication over a significant period. While this is undoubtedly challenging, it’s of paramount importance going forward. This is particularly true when building national confidence and in promoting and revitalizing the economic, industrial, agricultural, and tourism sectors. Efforts should begin domestically and then expand internationally.

At the same time, the country has weaknesses that affect the management of its image and national brand in various ways. These include the government’s lack of independence, political conflicts, and the pursuit of political benefits. Meanwhile, issues related to the economy, financial matters, the security of life and property, quality of life, stability, and the ability to compete with other countries on the global stage, as well as addressing political faith crises and managing communication for both the government and the nation’s brand to remain credible, pose challenges for the new government currently.

However, if the government can make corrections and developments, fostering cooperation between the public and private sectors and improving work processes rapidly and efficiently to create disruption in the global market, there’s optimism. Given Thailand’s competitive costs and considerable potential, if policies are well-defined and the government team operates with professionalism, adjusting strategies to align with global shifts, then this offers hope for the Thai people and addresses pressing concerns.

Source: Thailand Public Relations Association