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Interview with Don Skeoch Chief Marketing Officer at Los Angeles Tourism

Interview with Don Skeoch Chief Marketing Officer at Los Angeles Tourism

We caught up with Don Skeoch, Chief Marketing Officer at Los Angeles Tourism, ahead of his participation at this year’s City Nation Place Americas conference in a session that will look at how marketing teams can manage political stakeholders.

CNP: If you could summarise the skills that every executive involved in place branding needs to acquire in just three words, which words would you choose?
DS:  Integration, Strategy, Creativity

CNP: Why would you say that it’s important to keep up with how other cities, regions and nations are approaching the branding and marketing strategy for their place?
DS: To develop a positioning for our city that is unique, differentiated, and believable.

CNP: Why do you think it’s important that those involved in tourism promotion, economic development, investment promotion and talent attraction work more collaboratively?
DS: Sharing best practices allows “all boats to rise”. Additionally, there are cost efficiencies when tourism stakeholders combine funding to achieve similar goals.

CNP: When you are benchmarking your own city, nation or region’s brand performance, which metrics do you use?
DS:  Brand strength, third party rankings, social media following, econometric forecasts, and hotel data.

CNP: What would you say is the key to good story-telling to promote the assets and attractions of your city, region or nation?
DS:  Developing a deep emotional connection that is both authentic and accurate

CNP: Looking back over the past 12-18 months, could you sum up one key achievement of your organisation of which you are most proud?

DS: The internal development of the critically acclaimed “Everyone Is Welcome” campaign

CNP: Looking at the agenda for the City Nation Place Americas conference, which session are you most looking forward to listening to or joining?
DS: So many interesting sessions…I’m torn. Still undecided.

CNP: If you were not working for your current organisation, is there one nation, or city, anywhere in the world which you would like to market? And why?
DS: Melbourne, Australia. I delivered the keynote speech at their tourism conference in 2016. I didn’t know much about Melbourne. Their CEO, Laura Carvallo, has an “embarrassment of riches” when it comes to assets to promote and market. It’s an amazing city.

CNP: Thinking of the place where you live and work, what three words would you say summed up its brand essence?

DS: Diverse, Open, Innovative

CNP: Can you name one place in the Americas which you have not yet visited, which you would like to visit, and tell us why?
DS: Alaska.  I think I may be the very last person to  discover the natural beauty that everyone is raving about!

Don will be speaking alongside Daniel Valverde, Country Brand Director at Essential Costa Rica on day one of the City Nation Place Americas conference, in the following session:

Place branding is political, but how do you keep the politics out of place?

  • Managing the expectations and objectives of a diverse group of political stakeholders
  • Determining organizational structures that engage political support and ensure the long-term perspective
  • Responding to political policy that is having an impact on international perceptions of your brand
  • The importance of keeping the brand and brand communications apolitical, given the variety of stakeholders