Place branding strategies contribute to policy decisions that shape a city. Little research, however, investigates how place marketers influence the decision-making of those higher up in the value chain. Drawing upon Bourdieu's theory of cultural intermediation, we identify where these professionals exhibit influence in a city branding endeavour and what impact they have on policy decisions. We report results of semi-structured interviews with senior place marketers at 13 cities around the world and find that policy decisions are influenced in unofficial, hidden and non-systemic ways, including identifying and working with key stakeholders behind the scenes, playing politics, and applying a promotional lens to policy endeavours. We discuss these findings and their implications on theory and practice.
- Place branding
- Place promotion