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Jay Wang (Director of the USC Center on Public Diplomacy)
发布时间:2015年01月09日  来源:  作者:Jay Wang  阅读:1477

I would like to first of all thank the organizers of the forum for the kind invitation and I am very delighted to be here. On behalf of the USC Center on Public Diplomacy I would like to congratulate the city of Shanghai for hosting the launch of the World Cities Day.

 

Now engaging in foreign publics is essential to a nation's international relations. What we call public diplomacy is basically the public dimension of diplomacy. It now not global in nature, but also involves a multiple of actors and networks. Among these new actors and networks, cities, as the USC Center on Public Diplomacy, our work focus on the role and accountability of public diplomacy in the multi-disciplinary field. We recognize the important role of some of the important world dynamic and vibrant cities like Shanghai can play a role in shaping the international perspective of countries as well as addressing some of our common global challenges from climate change, immigration to public health and quality of life issues. I will spend the next a few minutes to share with you several observations on branding cities based on my research on nation branding and look what it is and how it works.

 

Today cities compete like companies. A city's image affects its capabilities. So positive image has strategic value because it creates an enabling environment in which cities pursue their goals.

 

So the interest among cities is only increasing in applying branding principles in promoting investment, tourism sustainable development and an overall city image. Clearly city brands just like nation brands are not created equal. Cities are symbolized through breeding practices and resources with different approaches and strategies coming into focus on driving bearing results and outcomes. Here are some practical lessons based on my research and on branding places, even though they are grounded in nation branding studies, I still believe they are relevant to

branding cities.

 

There are eight lessons. First, story telling as the foundation. Story telling with mass appeal is the foundation of this kind of brand communication effort shaping perception through branding is less about making good arguments than sharing a compelling a little story about a city, such story telling needs to have a clear structure and order and needs to engage the audience emotions.

 

Secondly, establish the city brand. It is not merely about selling the city but to demonstrate how the city and its experience can enrich its audiences, in other words to tell a compelling engaging story is to move away from self-promotion, self-focused efforts to embracing the possibility of co creating the city brand meaning. Dividing such strategies requires a deep understanding of audiences, motivations and imaginations.

 

My third observation is that we need to strategically use the inherent understandings of the public. We need to attract different groups to come to us by showing them different brand images of the city. City brand is also an acknowledgment and reminder. When we refer to the impression of one city, we may think of its cultural or other values. Besides, city should offer people a sense of surprise. This is very important. If you want to attract tourists to come here, you would better provide them with good experience, surprising and unique experience. If we cannot work this out, we would not attract public attention.

 

In addition to this, do not forget the last step, that is Make Still Further Progress. We consider all works should finish well in the end. We know aware that establishing a urban or national brand is transnational work. Generally speaking, the urban government will lead the job. But the real work needs cooperation between government and entrepreneur. How can we make sure the cooperation is successful? This is how we judge our success.

 

When it comes to establishing a city brand, I am sure one time is not enough. You need to concentrate and continue to work on it. Make sure that there is a sustained and innovative power in the city. I think this is a strategic, not tactful method.

 

In conclusion, I consider city diplomacy is using our soft power to show ourselves on the world stage. We concern that only because good culture and value spreading, can those cities receive more attention, can they join in academic and politics better. Establishing city brand or soft power is a process from top to bottom. Just now, I pointed out there is different trends in the globe. If we can make use of these opportunities, we will win more trust. 

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