Media Strategies for Marketing Places in Crisis
Improving the image of cities, countries and tourist destinationsBy
- Eli Avraham, Senior lecturer, Department of Communication, University of Haifa, Israel
- Eran Ketter, Department of Communication, University of Haifa, Israel.
Growing competition between countries and cities over attracting infrastructure, investment, tourists, capital and national and international status mean that today, a negative image is more harmful than ever. Whatever the cause of the negative image, places perceived as dangerous, frightening, or boring are at a distinct disadvantage. Many decision makers and marketers stand by helplessly, frustrated by their knowledge that in most cases, their city's negative image is not based on well-grounded facts. Given that stereotypes are not easily changed or dismissed, the challenge facing these decision makers is great. Analyses of many case studies show interesting examples of places that tried to change a negative image into a positive one, in order to bringing back tourists, investors and residents. Although a great deal of knowledge about crisis communications has accumulated in recent years, very little has been written about strategies to improve places' negative images. The aim of "Media Strategies for Marketing Places in Crisis" is to discuss the various dimensions of an image crisis and different strategies to overcome it, both in practice and theory. "Media Strategies for Marketing Places in Crisis" is based on the careful analysis of dozens of case studies, advertisements, public relations campaigns, press releases, academic articles, news articles, and the websites of cities, countries and tourist destinations.
Primary audience: tourism professionals including destination marketers, government officials, managers of tourism destinations, public relations professionals; Secondary audience: advanced undergraduate and graduate students in tourism marketing.
Published: December 2007
Imprint: Butterworth Heinemann
"In the last decade place image has become one of the most talked about concepts amongst politicians, economists and destination management professionals but it still needs greater exploration and analysis. Eli Avraham and Eran Ketter make a major contribution to that task in this timely book. Media Strategies for Places in Crisis is scholarly yet hugely readable and readily communicates the authors¿ command of their subject. This book is set to become a must have for anyone involved in place marketing, whilst likely to become a popular text on the burgeoning range of university courses in this field." Professor Nigel Morgan, The Welsh Centre for Tourism Research, University of Wales Institute, Cardiff, Co-Editor of the best-selling book, Destination Branding: Creating the unique destination proposition "This is an important book which gives a wealth of practical, well-researched communications advice to cities and countries in times of crisis. The authors' exploration of the impact of critical events on place image is sound, sensible and makes an important contribution to the field. Highly recommended reading for national, regional and city administrators." Simon Anholt, Government Advisor and Author
- Part One:
1. Summary of existing knowledge in place image, the techniques and strategies used for place promotion, and the field of image crisis.
2. Introduction to place marketing and offers definitions, ways to measure the effects of public relations and advertising campaign, and reasons why places try to change their images.
3-6. Discussion on 'place image' (kinds of image, measuring the image, different factors affecting a place's image);
the stages of campaign building (factors involved;
managing the image;
developing the place's vision;
branding and positioning;
the place's logo, slogan and landmark;
the various techniques used to deliver messages, including PR, advertising, promoting and marketing);
crisis communications and crisis management.
This part of the book is based on the strategic approach to public relations, stating that a change of image is ongoing, holistic, interactive and wide scaled, requiring much more than a quick change of logo or slogan.
7. Presentation of 20 strategies used by cities, countries, tourist destination all over the world in order to improve their negative image
8-12. The 'Crisis? What Crisis?' approach (ignoring the crisis);
employing a counter-message;
acknowledging the negative image;
geographic isolation strategy;
spinning liabilities into assets;
changing name, logo or slogan, hosting opinion leaders, hosting spotlight events;
ridiculing the stereotype;
patriotism and nationalism, changing the campaign's target audience;
changing reality in order to solve the crisis;
using movies, television shows and magazines;
branding the place counter to the stereotype, association with prestigious places/brands;
decreasing the crisis's effect.
13. Introduction of a wide scale model, illustrating the proper choice of a strategy in altering an unflattering public image.
The model was developed in order to give quick and user-friendly answers to local decision makers faced with dilemmas concerning issues such as image crisis, changing a place's image and media relations. For example, the concluding model answers questions such as whether one should use different media strategies during different phases of the crisis, when is one strategy better than anther, the limitations of media usage, the relations between a change in reality and changes in image, how place stereotypes can be changed, how the social and political environment affects the choice of strategies, how damage to an image can be downsized, and many more.