Media Strategies for Improving Placeís Image

Media Strategies for Marketing Places in Crisis presents a comprehensive set of 24 media strategies for improving placeís image and attracting visitors, residents and investors. On this page we present few media strategies, together with some example case studies.


Hosting spotlight events

One media strategy to get a positive media attention is by hosting spotlight events. Using this strategy, places can attract visitors, journalists and other opinion leaders, present the positive aspects of the place and create some headlines.

As part of its on-going campaign to improve its image, Detroit hosted the 2006 Super Bowl XL. The event was views by 130 million Americans, attracted 70,000 visitors and generated over 250$ million. Following the same manner as Detroit, places such as Baltimore, London, Beijing and Reno have all hosted spotlight events in order to improve their image.


Spinning Liabilities into Assets

Using this unique strategy, places can take a negative factor responsible for the placeís problematic image, and spin it into a positive trait. For example, Lapland was known for many years only for its extremely cold climate, a fact that damaged the destinationís image and kept visitors away. Today, however, these cold winters are marketed as unique and have become a top tourist attraction, with various winter cultural events and festivals under the slogan ďVitality from natureĒ.

Among others, places such as Minnesota, Georgia, Haiti, Romania, Indonesia and South Korea have used the strategy of spinning liabilities into assets in order to alter their image.


Branding Contrary to the Stereotype

One way to battle negative stereotypes is by launching a counter-branding campaign. Following this strategy, a place is highlighting an aspect that is counter to the stereotype, hoping to shatter it.

For example, the German city of Nuremberg was strongly related to the Nazi regime and to the post-war trials of Nazi leaders. To counter its old image, Nuremberg positioned itself in recent decades as a center of "Peace and human rights". Instead of war, racism, and destruction, Nuremberg now stands for justice, freedom, peace and equality. The new branding process was supported by the creation of museums, monuments, art exhibits, cultural events and conferences dedicated to human rights and social justice.


Changing the Campaignís Target Audience

†A place's image is not an objective entity but is formed subjectively through the eyes of different target audiences. As a result, a feature of a place that might be negative for one target audience could be considered positive by a different audience. Exploiting this relativity, some destinations learned that by changing the target audience, features serving as major disadvantages could suddenly go unnoticed or even be considered advantages by different publics.

In Israel, for example, as a result of the damage caused to general tourism by the ongoing conflicts, advertising campaigns began to concentrate on religious tourists in the US and Europe, assuming that this type of tourism would be less sensitive to security issues. In the new campaign Jews and Evangelical Christians became prime target audiences, using the slogan "Donít let your soul wait any longer. Come visit Israel".

Other countries which used the strategy of changing the target audience include North Carolina, Jordan and Syria.


Interested in learning more?

The official website of Eran Ketter (PhD)

Tourism marketing research by Eran Ketter

Destination marketing books by Eran Ketter

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Media Strategies for Marketing Places in Crisis

Tourism destination marketing book by Eli Avraham and Eran Ketter