Our Client – The City of Coventry

Our Special Focus on Place Branding (City Branding)

Place branding is a complex process through which individuals or institutions seek to influence a place’s reputation or brand image.

Tourism marketing is a particularly visible form of place branding but is just one tool for public diplomacy. Although a city’s residents may not always be aware of it, many place branding efforts target not only foreign publics (consisting of potential tourists, business visitors, policymakers, investors, etc.) but also the local population, nudging or urging city residents to be warm and welcoming, forward looking and innovative, proud of their traditions, while becoming outwardly oriented – all in accordance with the aims of the particular branding initiative.

Urban place branding is what “Celebrate Coventry” is about, and is thus more than just marketing the city as a product; it is also a form of product development.

This course will allow students to contextualize knowledge (provide context to the principles and tools of media relations learned in class) and engage with community members. On a date to be scheduled, students will explore Coventry, experiencing cultural and other attributes as well as intangible heritage that various stakeholders/communities within the city deem to be important.

Students will visit important sites in Coventry, including attractions, centres of import, public parks, museums, historical buildings, restaurants, and, if possible, bastions of counterculture (new and evolving trends that are a shift away from traditional Coventry) to learn how local culture is lived and how it is presented to outsiders.

Students will seek to discover the key messages that various communities (business, arts, history, sport, government) within Coventry would like the outside world to know, and help to express the variables that have developed as key sites for Coventry’s identity building and cultural expression.