ROCK seminars and toolkit on innovative city branding
We have designed and facilitated an advanced seminar on innovative city branding that toured Europe along 2018-2019, including Bologna, Athens, Torino, Vilnius, Lisbon, Skopje and Cluj-Napoca. The aim was to provide a sound approach to this field, while stressing cultural heritage as a driver to brand and market the contemporary city. The ROCK seminars covered city narrative, imagery, audience segmentation and mix of communications, and mobilized over 200 participants from around one hundred stakeholder entities, -e.g. destination management organisations, investment promotion agencies, Mayor´s cabinets, City units in charge of culture and heritage management, dirComs from major cultural entities and events and professionals involved in design and visual arts. The seminars proved to be rather useful:
- To provide a sound approach to place branding, closer to integrated urban development than just conventional marketing.
- As an opportunity to discuss about what´s going on in the host city and confront with other practices and trends at international level.
- To raise awareness on the instrumental role of place branding in urban regeneration.
- To organize a discussion on cultural heritage as a driver to brand & market the contemporary city.
Addionally, a specific toolkit on storytelling has been created, to help promote stories connecting heritage to future-oriented issues, from entrepreneurship and innovation spaces to social innovation and technology.
ROCK was an EU-funded Innovation Action on historic city centres as extraordinary laboratories to demonstrate how cultural heritage can be a powerful engine for regeneration, sustainable development and economic growth. ROCK pioneered in including the communication dimension as part of the integrated approach for heritage-led urban development, by bridging with city branding & marketing practices.