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Wish you were here? Some problems associated with integrating marketing communications when promoting place brands

Skinner, H (2005) Wish you were here? Some problems associated with integrating marketing communications when promoting place brands. Place Branding, 1 (3). pp. 299-315. ISSN 1744-0696

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Abstract

Wales, a relatively small Celtic nation, has been forced to embrace the need to rebrand itself to meet the demands of an increasingly competitive global marketplace. The creation of unique, distinct identities that accurately reflect the contemporary rather than the historical place brand is becoming of even more strategic importance to those responsible for destination marketing, particularly in a newly enlarged European Union that is still seeking to grow in size even further. This paper therefore examines some of the ways in which Wales is represented in order to assess the extent to which the wide range of the brand's marketing communications are in synergy, and to identify some of the problems associated with achieving such a consistent place image through marketing communications. A content analysis was undertaken in addition to semi-structured, in-depth interviews with members of a range of public bodies charged with promoting Wales externally. Analysis of the data immediately indicated inconsistencies within the marketing messages, thereby appearing to violate the ‘one-voice’ or synergy principle underlying the theories of integrated marketing communications. Following a discussion that highlights some of the problems associated with integrating marketing communications when promoting place brands, the paper concludes with the proposition that true integration of a place brand's marketing communications may be impossible to achieve.

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