Welcome to the City Nation Place Advisory Group – a network of leading decision makers from place brand, economic development, and destination marketing organisations from around the world. We’re working with these industry leaders to identify the emerging challenges and opportunities that should be top of the agenda for place professionals. We have a calendar of online meetings to share ideas and experience across the full remit of place brand and marketing strategies and these are already leading to specific benchmarking and research initiatives.


Benchmarking approaches to research

City Nation Place published a research report to understand what best practice looks like when it comes to researching and evaluating the impact of place brand and marketing strategies. We conducted interviews with a mix of place leaders from around the world representing best practice in this area, which was further backed up by a qualitative survey to benchmark these best practices against the wider industry.



Developing a toolkit for citizen engagement

We’re delighted to publish a new, free toolkit that curates best practice in citizen and community engagement by place brand and marketing organisations around the world.

This report includes fifteen case studies, gives you how-to advice and links to a range of tools and resources used by each of the places who have shared their stories with us.



Understanding and leveraging private sector engagement in place branding

Combining a survey approach with qualitative interviews with engaged private sector leaders, this report will aim to understand why and how companies value place attractiveness and the organisations which promote it. We’ll explore how places can inspire private sector partners to become place ambassadors and promote place attractiveness. The Report will also include case studies of effective private sector ambassador programmes and include a specific focus on place of origin strategies.


Mapping organisational structures and governance for place branding and marketing

This study will aim to explore the pros and cons of differing organisational structures and governance models across place brand and marketing organisations, focusing on cities, regions, and nations and across destination marketing, economic development, investment attraction, and place brand promotion remits. There’s no best-model-fits-all of course but this report will dig into what works well in different circumstances and also highlight some more innovative approaches.

Here are just a few of the trailblazing place leaders sharing their insight with us as part of our advisory group...

How you can get involved

The Advisory Group is made up of invited place branding leaders from around the world, and thanks to the support of our City Nation Place Champions, we are now able to extend the programme to more participants. As a member of the Advisory Group, you are able to attend online meetings throughout the year with other place brand and marketing leaders to discuss specific topics. If you would like to be involved, or if you would like to be featured in our upcoming Citizen Engagement Toolkit, please do get in touch by emailing We’d love to learn more about your work.

City Nation Place Champions

This work would not be possible without the financial support of our City Nation Place Champions: Brand Tasmania, Destination Cleveland, New Zealand Story, VisitPITTSBURGH, Slovenian Tourist Board, We are Staffordshire and Wesgro.

This is a new way of thinking about economic, social, and cultural development. Yet it has a massive impact on the people who live in our cities, regions, and nations. There isn’t a playbook that works for everyone, so it’s crucial to share our successes and failures. This is deeply meaningful work we are all lucky enough to do. It’s also strange, and no one understand like others who do it. Ultimately, the best reason to connect with peers is to help the people we serve more cleverly and powerfully.

Todd Babiak, CEO of Brand Tasmania

City Nation Place represents a unique and important confluence of place making, perception, and economic development. We are happy to support the Champions program as it helps ensure important conversations and insights on these topics with a global perspective that helps our organization strategize its future.

David Gilbert, CEO of Destination Cleveland

I hope we can accelerate our collective impact – learning what others are doing will allow us to transfer that to our own context, or learn from their experiences. As we are forming the international group, we are also redefining the craft of place branding. While we may be separated by time and distance, often our challenges and opportunities are similar. I’ve learnt much already from how others are handling some of the same specific issues we face, in a unique field. Place branding is very much a niche, and we are all still collectively learning how best to have impact. The diversity of thought and experience allows us all to improve and grow.

David Downs, CEO from NZ Story

City Nation Place provides opportunities to engage with the global tourism and economic development community in meaningful ways. Through CNP, we have connected with a large network of practitioners who are doing amazing work in all corners of the world. Learning from each other through the exchange of ideas is a great way to create opportunities in our home markets.

Jerad Bachar, President & CEO of VisitPITTSBURGH

City Nation Place stands as a vital channel for exchanging ideas among global leaders in destination marketing, including Slovenia. Emphasizing sustainability as a cornerstone of our collective vision, we recognize the shared responsibility to craft stories that not only promote economic development but also safeguard the environmental and cultural treasures of our places. The Champions program enables us to get insights and craft strategies that empower our organization to navigate and shape its future effectively.

MSc. Maja Pak Olaj, Director General, Slovenian Tourist Board

As we seek to better understand the intrinsic connection between our places and the quality of experiences – indeed the lives – of the visitors and residents we are here to serve, understanding and learning from others is crucial. 

For whilst our geographies, cultures and assets might be different, we share many of the same challenges and opportunities; we are foolish to think we are the first to tackle them, or to try and do so alone.

City Nation Place provides a unique link and platform that stretches across oceans and time zones, allowing us to come together as peers to tackle the big issues of the day – and work towards the solutions of tomorrow – so we can strive to be the best custodians and marketers of our wonderful places.

Louisa Shaw, Head of Place Marketing, We Are Staffordshire

Never before have we seen such a rapid change in how destinations are positioning themselves locally and internationally. This is because of the advancements in technology and channel innovation as well as the changing mindsets of audiences, and the need to respond to increasing complexities and crisis. City Nation Place provides the platform for leaders and change-makers in destination marketing to continue important conversations around implementing marketing mix strategies as a result of analysis, segmentation, changing travel, buying and investing behaviours and motivations. Insights are invaluable as we determine as a collective how we can be more effective for our respective regions.

Jean Scheltema, Chief Marketing & Innovation Officer at Wesgro

We look forward to continuing to connect with our City Nation Place Advisory Group and Champions over the coming months and creating new resources to support the development of place branding as an industry. Watch this space for more news.