Stakeholder engagement in the city branding process

Claudia Henninger, Caroline Foster , Panayiota J. Alevizou , Chris Frohlich

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    This paper explores perceptions of stakeholder engagement in the city branding process from the perspective of two post-industrial cities: Sheffield, UK and Essen, Germany. This qualitative research utilises a multi case study approach, which allowed for semi-structure interviews and semiotics to be used. Preliminary findings highlight that there are four stakeholder ‘levels’. Each of these stakeholder groupings is involved in the city branding process to some extend. Findings suggest that the degree of involvement strongly depends on the primary stakeholders, who are seen as key decision-makers in the branding process. These primary stakeholders select other stakeholders that ‘can’ be involved in the branding process. Although this may be beneficial it is vital to provide more opportunities and incorporate stakeholders that are willing to participate in the branding process. Alienating stakeholders may also lead to losing parts of an identity that is based on heritage. The focus is on two cities with a highly industrialised background, thus findings may not be applicable to cities without this heritage. The paper looks at both stakeholder engagement and city branding, thereby proposing four layers of stakeholder involvement in the city branding process.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalPlace Branding and Public Diplomacy
    Issue number4
    Early online date6 Jul 2016
    Publication statusPublished - 2016


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