Developing Local Community: Municipal Policies Oriented Towards Place Branding

Jørund Aasetre, Espen Carlsson, Margrete Hembre Haugum


To date, there has been scant research on place broadcasting activities (PBA) such as promotion, marketing and branding in Norwegian municipalities, especially research into effects. This paper examines two rural Norwegian municipalities in which place branding - i.e. the planned and strategic external communication of place qualities - has been a prioritized policy strategy. The research was designed as a comparative case study based on data acquired via methodological triangulation. An analytical model served as a framework to identify the effects of a focus on place branding in non-core municipalities. In the model, policies oriented towards place branding are treated as a variable that is thought to influence (1) employment, (2) settlement, and (3) the desire for rural living. The analysis revealed no quantifiable effects of such policies when compared with 17 comparable municipalities. However, based on the qualitative data and analysis, the authors found effects related to the desire for rural living, implying arguments in favour of non-core regional policy and planning beyond a focus purely on growth. Our results seem to indicate that strategies oriented towards place branding should also focus on material issues, housing development and job opportunities for example.

Keywords: place, promotion, marketing, branding, policy, effects, non-core municipalities, settlement, desire for rural living

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Scandinavian Journal of Public Administration

School of Public Administration, Box 712 - SE-405 30 Göteborg

ISSN: 2001-7405, E-ISSN: 2001-7413