Adam Mikolajczyk is well known in Central and Eastern Europe for having founded the Best Place Institute, of which he is also the president. We caught up with Adam to find out more about this initiative, and to hear his thoughts on the current state of place branding practices in Poland, especially in connection with cities.
Adam, as international place development and marketing expert, one of your specialities is the branding of cities. Do you remember what brought you to the topic in the first place? What triggered your interest?
I think it was the period between studies and the first job. I studied the experimental subject of "Spatial Economy", specialization in "City and Region Management" at the University of Lodz (Poland).
Because it was an integrated economic and sociological faculty, we had classes in both social and economic sciences, such as social policy, architecture, spatial planning, regional economics, econometrics and the most intriguing for me then - territorial marketing.
When in the last year of my studies I got a job at the Polish Agency for Tourism Development, which was implementing a new project – the branding strategies for tourist destinations in Poland, I fell in love with place branding. Since then I knew that this will be the essence of my professional career.
In 2010 you founded – and are the president of – the international consulting organization Best Place Institute in Poland. What motivated you to set up this organization?
After several years of experience with branding of tourist destinations I took up a position in the media sector, at a popular marketing magazine. There I started to popularise the idea of place marketing and branding, as well as educating local and regional governments.
Founding the Best Place Institute, I wanted to bring together all my previous experiences. The Institute is a boutique consulting agency for places, as well as an organization gathering experts and promoting place marketing and branding. Not only in Poland, but throughout Central and Eastern Europe. I managed to involve two great “pracademics” for this task - Magdalena Florek and Jarosław Górski.
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