Any communication/perception management campaign must be measurable. It should be able to map brand growth over a certain time span. As a communications and brand strategy consultant I have used numerous tools to measure & evaluate a branding campaign. Accurate measurements makes a dynamic communication strategy possible.
Now that the government of India is serious about undertaking a branding exercise to project power and spread India's influence how can we measure the success of such a campaign? What can be certain parameters? The following comes to my mind:
1. The most obvious first -- measure the number of times India has been mentioned in the press of target countries. Analyse the messages that has gone through. Track the evolution of messages with a strict year to year timelines.
2. Monitor online conversations about India and identify messages in social media outlets that might be of significance. It can be a NYT blog or the blog of FCO in UK or TamilNet in Sri Lanka, Facebook, Twitter etc. etc. Various tools like Radian6 exists nowadays that can analyse online conversations.
3. In media what are the most common used adjectives used to describe India. What are the names? What are the stereotypes associated with the country the most? For example, the recent 'racist' attacks on Indian students in Australia presents a good opportunity to map India's brand image in that country and track online and mainstream media for conversations about India.
4. Readily quantifiable data can be gathered on the impact on tourism, Indian corporates with international operations, Indian economy, as a result of the branding campaign.
5. One can also measure how the country has performed over the years in the Nation Brands Index. India came 26th in the 2008 survey of Nation Brands. It featured nowhere in the top 20 of brand images in culture, tourism -- the things we keep chest thumping about the most! So, one can imagine the tough task in hand for the Public Diplomacy Division of MEA.
These are some very 'obvious' examples. I am sure there are more. Suggestions are welcome.