The project Brand-EU brought together municipalities willing to attract people and businesses. There was a general lack of knowledge especially in public authorities on communication skills, more attention should be given to present the cities as a system, as well as mapping the resources that they have to offer. Starting from these considerations the partners have identified that civil servants needs to be equipped with competences on place branding strategies in order to boost the attractiveness of the local areas.
The general objective of the project was to raise the attractiveness of European cities through the exchange of best practices on the place branding strategies designed and implemented by Municipalities in collaboration with stakeholders in order to create more favourable condition for local development. In order to achieve the general objective above the project aimed at:
1. Developing place branding skills in the staff of municipalities and local stakeholders
2. Increasing the collaboration between municipalities and local actors for common place branding strategies
3. Creating more training opportunities for municipalities and local actors’ staff at transnational level.
The target groups involved in the activities during and after the project were: civil servants; political representatives; and local actors, including SMEs, category associations, chamber of commerce, associations for the promotion of the territory etc.
The project activities were implemented at two levels
At transnational level:
– 4 coordination meetings: 1 kick off, 2 intermediate, and 1 final conference;
– 3 trainings on place branding for civil servants and staff of local stakeholders (SMEs, associations other public authorities ecc) on the following themes:
– Introduction to place branding and marketing;
– How to attract citizens and business in our municipalities;
– Promotion of tourism;
– Peer review of the services in the participating municipalities.
At local level the partners defined their Place Branding Strategies on the basis of the skills acquired through the activities at transnational level. This process foreseen a strong involvement of stakeholders in order to build local network of cooperation aimed at raising the attractiveness of the participating European cities.
The project increased the competences on place branding in the civil servants of the participating municipalities. At the same time “Brand EU” raised the attention on investing in continuing VET as a way to re-skill the staff of public authorities and develop strategies that have an impact on local development (like in this case place branding strategy)
In the long run, the tight collaboration between municipalities and stakeholders will increase the attractiveness of the cities involved, and create more appealing conditions for citizens and businesses to settle.
The final outcome of the project is the publication produced by the project partners. The publication includes the key concepts of place branding and business attraction presented by the expert Per Ekman involved in the project and the place branding strategies developed by each partner organisation in the three years of the project inspired by what they have learned.