Leaders in Place Brand Strategy – CityNationPlace Awards 2015

Last Thursday, CityNationPlace, a project by Hubbub Ltd, presented its inaugural CityNationPlace Awards – an initiative aimed at benchmarking excellence in place brand strategy and to celebrate best practice in the marketing and branding of places.

Aim of the City Nation Place Awards

According to CityNationPlace.com, place brand strategies need to be long-term focused in order to sufficiently affect a place’s competitive reputation on the world stage.

However, place branding strategies also need “to deliver measurable progress even in the shorter term and there are key tactical elements within the long-term plan that can deliver the early wins and contribute to the longer term gain.”

The awards pay tribute to those place brand strategies and marketing projects which demonstrate “a combination of creativity, intelligence and effective strategic planning to deliver results.”

2015 City Nation Place Award Winners

The following organizations were awarded for their place brand strategies at the CityNationPlace conference in London early November 2015:

The Place Brand of the Year: the Oslo Brand Alliance

Oslo Business Region, VisitOSLO, Oslo Region Alliance (together forming “the Oslo Brand Alliance”)
In a 100 years from now. Learn more about the Oslo Region Brand Management Strategy

Best Citizen Engagement: ConnectIreland.com

Learn more about ConnectIreland’s citizen engagement strategy

Best Communication Strategy: London & Partners

London’s Official Guest of Honour – a brilliant idea. Learn more about London’s communication strategy.

Best Usage of Social Media: Croatian National Tourist Board

#SuperBowlCroatia. News Hijacking: How Croatia became the secret advertising star of the Superbowl 2015. Learn more about the Croatian National Tourist Board’s social media strategy.

Jury of City Nation Place Awards

Leading place branding scholars and practitioners formed the jury of the City Nation Place awards:

City branding expert Martin BoisenMartin Boisen

Independent Advisor, BOISEN and Co-founder of Phønix

Highly respected among his peers, Martin Boisen has been actively involved in developing the award-winning place brand strategy of Oslo region (as judge he was excluded from evaluating the Oslo entry). A passionate university lecturer and advisor, Boisen has been involved in more than 60 place branding projects. Twitter (@martinboisen) | LinkedIn

More about Martin Boisen in our expert interview

Robert Govers at Economic Forum Place Branding Session 2015Robert Govers

Managing Research Partner, Good Country Index

Robert Govers is co-editor of Palgrave’s Place Branding and Public Diplomacy journal and a key figure in establishing place branding as academic and professional field in its own right. As scholar, author and advisor, Robert is a frequent conference speaker and passionate about promoting best practice. Together with Simon Anholt he is currently developing the Good Country Index. Twitter (@rgovers) | Website | LinkedIn

More about Robert Govers in our expert interview

Public diplomacy expert Nick Cull, USC AnnenbergNick Cull

Professor of Public Diplomacy, University of Southern California

Unlike popular belief, place branding isn’t just about business and economic development but has an important political component – public diplomacy. Professor Nick Cull is a leading scholar in public diplomacy and the co-editor of Place Branding and Public Diplomacy journal. Twitter (@NickCull) | LinkedIn

More about Nick Cull in our expert interview

Aparna Sharma with UK Prime Minister David CameronAparna Dutt Sharma

Nation Brand & Communications Strategist and former CEO, India Brand Equity Foundation

India as nation is as complex as it is fascinating, eager to find unity in diversity and to position itself as a hub for technology. As founding director of the India Brand Equity Foundation, Aparna Dutt Sharma has been at the forefront of nation branding in India.

More about Aparna Dutt Sharma in our interview

Africa place branding expert Thebe Ikalafeng interviewed by City Nation PlaceThebe Ikalafeng, Founder & CEO, Brand Africa

Trustee at Brand South Africa

Named one of the ‘100 Most Influential Africans’ by the respected New African Magazine, he has been to over 50 countries across Africa and the world and worked on over 100 brands across nation, city, corporate, consumer, political and institutional brands that shape the African brand and reputation.

Ikalafeng is a non-executive director of Mercantile Bank Holdings, Brand South Africa, WWF South Africa, South African Tourism, chairman of Brand Finance Africa, and Founder of the Brand Africa and Public Sector Excellence initiatives.

More about Thebe Ikalafeng in our interview

Oliver Sam, Head of International Office – London, UK, Agency for Foreign Investments and Export Promotion of the Republic of Macedonia


Jonathan McClory, Partner and Head of Place Branding, Portland

Twitter (@JonathanMcClory ) | Website

Elliot Polak, Founder, Newsroom


Karen Winton, Managing Partner, Nest VC London


More about the awards – winners and judges on www.citynationplace.com

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