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Place branding: Are we wasting our time? Report of an AMA special session

Medway, D, Swanson, K, Neirotti, LD, Pasquinelli, C and Zenker, S (2015) Place branding: Are we wasting our time? Report of an AMA special session. Journal of Place Management and Development, 8. ISSN 1753-8335


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© Emerald Group Publishing Limited.Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to report on a special session entitled “Place branding: Are we wasting our time?”, held at the American Marketing Association’s Summer Marketing Educators’ conference in 2014. Design/methodology/approach – The report details the outcome of an Oxford-style debate with two opposing teams of two persons – one team supporting and one team opposing the motion. The opening speaker of each team had 10 minutes to put their case across, and the closing speaker had 8 minutes. Teams took to the stand alternately, matching up against each other’s arguments. Findings – The outcome of the debate points towards a need for place brands to develop as more inclusive and organic entities, in which case it may be best for place practitioners to avoid creating and imposing a place brand and instead help shape it from the views of stakeholder constituencies. This shifts the notion of place branding towards an activity centred on “curation”. Originality/value – The use of a competitive debating format as a means for exploring academic ideas and concepts in the place management field.

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