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Palgrave Macmillan

Place Branding through Phases of the Image

Balancing Image and Substance

ISBN 9781137394439
Publication Date August 2014
Formats Hardcover Ebook (EPUB) Ebook (PDF) 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan

As places face increased competition for human and capital resources, public managers turn toward corporate-like governance strategies and branding practices to shape places and organizations. However, for better or worse, these organizations begin to resemble highly competitive, private-sector public relations and marketing firms. Place branding is taking hold within many organizations, including city governments, yet very few scholars take a public administration approach when exploring the causes and effects of branding practices.

In Place Branding through Phases of the Image, Zavattaro explains how city promotional strategies can take the place of corporate governance structures through phases of the image. She examines how city government entities are undertaking place branding practices, with the realization that relying too much on image rather than a balance between image and substance has serious implications for democratic, collaborative governance. This book creates a workable framework that simultaneously serves as a cautionary tale for building a promotional campaign focused exclusively on image.

Staci M. Zavattaro is Assistant Professor of Public Administration and Affiliate of the Stennis Institute of Government at Mississippi State University, USA. Her work appears in journals such as Place Branding and Public Diplomacy, Journal of Place Management and Development, and Administration & Society.

1. Utilizing Philosophy in Place Branding
2. Laying the Foundations
3. Putting it All Together: The Framework
4. Examples in Practice
5. Implications of the Framework
6. A Guide for Managers


"Zavattaro's book makes a useful and well written contribution to the on-going issue of the link between identity/reality and image; substance and communication. Above all, the philosophical and public administration perspectives are welcome and should be digested by students, academics and particularly practitioners." - Robert Govers, Independent Place Branding Advisor; Joint Editor, Place Branding and Public Diplomacy
"This book is timely and important! Zavattaro situates place branding in governance practices and asks us to make informed decisions about our practices that balance image and substance, understanding that place branding constructs a reality that everyone - citizens, administrators, and brand developers - should be involved in creating and sustaining." - Cheryl Simrell King, Director, Master of Public Administration Program, The Evergreen State College, USA
"Zavattaro is becoming a leading scholar in this emerging area of inquiry for the field of public administration. With this book, she weaves together theory and practice to inform public managers and scholars on the importance of place branding for promoting cities, improving governance, and engaging citizen participation. This original and informative work belongs on everyone's bookshelf." - Mary M. Timney, Professor of Public Administration, Pace University, USA
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