Robert Govers Researcher Profile

Robert Govers is the author of IMAGINATIVE COMMUNITIES: Admired cities, regions and countries. Since 2009 Robert has co-edited and authored four books on the topic of community reputation with Palgrave Macmillan publishers. IMAGINATIVE COMMUNITIES is his first book published under his own imprint. He has also co-authored over 50 journal articles, book chapters and conference papers and has delivered numerous public speeches and business publications. In addition, he is co-editor of the quarterly journal, Place Branding and Public Diplomacy.

Robert Govers is an independent international adviser, scholar, speaker and author on the reputation of cities, regions and countries. He is chairman of the International Place Branding Association and the managing research partner of Good Country. He has also been an adjunct or visiting scholar at Tsinghua University, Beijing; the Indian School of Business, Hyderabad; the University of Leuven, Belgium; Rotterdam School of Management, the Netherlands; Loughborough University London Campus; IULM University Milano, Italy; and several institutes in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. He also teaches place branding on the UNESCO World Heritage at Work Master’s programme in Torino, Italy.

Robert has held positions in South Africa, the Netherlands, Belgium and Dubai, United Arab Emirates. He has been involved in many consultancy projects and advisory boards for reputable organisations such as the International Air Transport Association, the European Commission, the Flemish government and various ministries, tourism promotion boards, and regional and city administrations.

Robert has both a doctoral (2005) and master’s degree (1995) from the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University, the Netherlands.

Which topics linked to place branding are you most passionate about, as researcher?

  • Marketing versus branding
  • Image versus identity
  • Perceived versus projected image
  • Boosterish versus action communication
  • Bland versus imaginative communities

5 hashtags which describe your research style/approach:

#qualitative #syndicated #surveys #quantitative #contentanalysis

Key insights from your research so far?

  • Brand advertising has little effect
  • Actions speak louder than words
  • Marketing and branding have different meanings, approaches and tools
  • In place branding, identity and imagination are key
  • Place image is stubborn

Robert Govers is available as consultant and speaker. More about his work, insights and lessons learned in our interview.

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