Place Branding and Strategic Communication

To communicate strategically means to understand the strong power of words, images and actions, and to align them rigorously. A country, institution or person will build his reputation depending on the way he manages them, be consciously or not.

The reputation or brand of a country is one of her most valuable assets, and so it is for every single city, person, organization or sports club. We are what we communicate. What do we want to be?

Place Branding is a new discipline many countries and cities are now listening to. There are many circumstances that have created the need of an own brand for countries, cities and places whose identity problems are pushing down their development. They have a lack of identity outwards or, even, a bad reputation that is a huge difficulty for their economic grow.

Place Branding

To generate a place brand goes beyond touristic slogans and also beyond promoting the “made in”. Place Branding puts together, in a single discipline, the global communication of a place, and it is a must it succeeds extracting the real essence of it and communicates it in a strategic way.
What does strategy mean in Communications? To select adequate tools and to use them with coordination in time, according to a plan, well designed and structured, that boosts the effectiveness of each of them and generates an authentic coral exercise of communication.
Place Branding must generate sensations that attract general interest to a country. It must appeal to emotions at the time of shaping the reputation of a place: if we aim to attract investments, we must communicate rigorousness, transparency and profitability. If we want to increase touristic flows, we must transmit suggesting images, different destinies, singular experiences. If what we want is to export products, we will communicate any sensation that talk about their qualities.
But Place Branding will aim a global result: global sensations that make people trust our country in all those aspects. It’s obvious that not all brands can sell tourism, export cars, attract direct investments. But it is a prestigious country brand that will open a window to all that. Is Germany a touristic country? Obviously, not. But the good reputation Germany has and communicates allows her global reputation to be solid in any sense. As Simon Anholt has brilliantly remarked, creating a country brand is generating a competitive identity.

4 thoughts on “Place Branding and Strategic Communication

  1. So interesting. Although it is a new field in communications, Place Branding has brilliant experts to explain what it really is. It is not Destination Branding, as one can see in too many articles or even books.

  2. It would be helpful to see some country brand campaigns examples and analyze them. I do not think many of them are good enough to create a real brand/reputation. India, Poland… I did not like them. I mean, they did not show a global sight of those countries.

  3. Yes, the key question for this is talking of Country reputation as if we talked about persons: who would you buy a second hand car from? who you really trust?
    I am very interested in Place Branding and all the communication techniques that are developed around it. A lot to talk and write about. 🙂

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