Imaginative Communities: Admired cities, regions and countries

Reputo Press · AI-narrated by Matt (from Google)
3 hr 39 min
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About this audiobook

Americans are loud. Amsterdam equals sex, drugs, and rock & roll. Mexicans are lazy and Germans are boring, but punctual. Paris is romantic, Wuhan infectious, Ukrainians heroic, and New Zealand untouched. This is the way people around the world think about cities, regions and countries and the communities that live there; through cliches and stereotypes. It can be frustrating and hindering trade, diplomacy, investment, tourism, or talent attraction. Many believe that such image problems can be resolved with advertising campaigns, but the classic tourism promotion model is broken and insufficient. This book explains what works and what doesn’t when it comes to improving the reputation of cities, regions, and countries. It does so without the use of jargon and with reference to numerous case-studies. The book primarily aims to inspire readers and offer them a broad overview of an issue in modern society that is of interest and relevance to all of us: the reputation of our communities.

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About the author

Are you thinking about the reputation of your city, region or country in this globalized and multipolar world? Well, if so, you are in the right place as this is uniquely the topic that I advise governments and their stakeholders on; which I study, speak and write about (for 20+ years). Read my book!

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I advised clients such as the Governments of the Netherlands, United Arab Emirates, Kazakhstan, Luxembourg, regional governments of three provinces in the Netherlands, and the City of Ghent (Belgium).

I was a keynote speaker at many international conferences such as the Club of Venice, Kyiv International Economic Forum, World Cities Culture Forum, European Cities Marketing, European Travel Commission, Tel Aviv Cities Summit, or the International Association of Convention Centres.

I am founding chairman of the International Place Branding Association and have been an adjunct or visiting scholar in Beijing, Hyderabad, Leuven, Rotterdam, London, Milan, and Dubai. I also teach place branding on the UNESCO World Heritage at Work Master’s programme in Torino, Italy.

I have written numerous papers and (co-)authored/edited 5 books on the topic of place branding. The award-winning book Imaginative Communities was published in English, Portuguese and Spanish. I am co-editor of the journal of Place Branding and Public Diplomacy, and contributor to Apolitical, the World Economic Forum Agenda and The Economist Intelligence Unit Perspectives.

I held positions in South Africa, the Netherlands, Belgium and Dubai and have a PhD and Master’s degree from Erasmus University, Rotterdam School of Management.

My favourite topics

Positioning strategy, identity, image, reputation, symbolic actions / imaginative initiatives, community imagination, tourism marketing, investment promotion, and major international events. This is approached from a strategic reputation management perspective, which is based on the premise that places build reputation through actions, not propaganda. I also co-authored the Good Country Index.

Services offered

Reputation management and strategy consulting, research, training and public speaking.


My research and experience show that for cities, regions or countries to be admired they:

have to be admirable

through a sense of identity, belonging and virtue

by which to influence international perceptions

with access to mainstream and social media buzz

by building unique experiences

through imagination and leadership

and community collaboration.

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