This paper aims to discursive dynamics in place marketing collaboration, which has the potential to construct common ground between stakeholders or provoke discursive struggles emerging from competing accounts.
The paper applies a discursive perspective to collaboration and uses the discursive model of the collaboration to analyze dynamics between stakeholder representatives in two regional level place marketing projects carried out in Eastern Finland in 2011-2014. An analysis of 23 interviews focuses on how stakeholders construct shared understandings of project issues and interests, and discursive struggles that emerge from competing accounts and heterogeneous spaces.
Identified issues in the projects related to the competitiveness between regions, peer pressure to carry out place marketing and a lack of budget resources for marketing for gaining visibility. Broader discourses of competitiveness and promotion provided shared discursive resources for the collaborators. An analysis of the interests of specific organizations revealed discursive struggles that relate to the spatial content of place marketing activities and also the symbolic content of the image of the region.
While the paper underlines the embeddedness of collaboration within broader discursive contexts and cultural sensitivity attached to communication, it does not cover how broader discourses constrain communicative processes or how cultural context influences them.
The paper presents an original perspective on stakeholder collaboration in place marketing projects by highlighting the discursive aspects of communication, and especially the construction of shared understandings as a central element in collaboration. This is useful for facilitating and coordinating stakeholders’ communication, which has been considered important for the success of place marketing and branding activity.
This study was funded by University of Eastern Finland.
Halme, J. (2020), "Constructing consensus and conflicts : Dynamics in regional place marketing collaboration", Qualitative Market Research, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/QMR-12-2017-0172Download as .RIS
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