• The competing dynamics and relationships in corporate and local government agency constructions of place

      Russell, Natalie; Adderley, Simon; Stokes, Peter; Scott, Peter; University of Chester ; University of Birmingham ; University of Chester ; Liverpool John Moores University (Slovenian Academy of Management, 2014-01-01)
      This paper explores the dynamics of how private sector business entities and local government bodies perceive and interact with the identity of the locality in which they operate. It identifies tensions and differences in, and consequences of, the dynamics and relationships between how private sector business entities view constructions of ‘place’ and how government and publicly-funded place-marketing organisations portray and promote localities. These issues are examined through the phenomenon, brand and slogan of ‘visit, live, invest’ which is gaining credence in the United Kingdom and elsewhere in the world. The paper develops data using in-depth interviews and a smallscale survey set within an overall interpretivistic case study approach. The data and the case-study demonstrate that, despite the rebranding of the local government agencies as a placemarketing organisation committed to the new ‘live, visit, invest’ initiative and brand agenda, there is an ongoing ‘cultural hangover’ from previous place promotion policies. There are also serious impacts and consequences for relationships between the public and private sectors and with other stakeholders. The prevailing image of UKTown (real name anonymised) by business leaders is one that sees this town fundamentally as a historic, traditional and conservative town. This image has been the product of many years of older style promotion in this vein. While such an image may suggest pleasant aspects of the living environment, it has little to do with corporate image, values and concerns and many private sector business entities do not identity with it. In several instances it is even considered by certain business sectors to be ‘detrimental’ to the need for a dynamic business environment and the forms of relationships and activities these necessitate. The paper indicates a number of strategic moves that could be adopted in order to improve this predicament. Keywords: private business entities, local government agency, place identity, place marketing, branding, perception