Sean Tomlinson Sean Tomlinson Head of Consulting & Propositions, Sopra Steria

Interview with Daniela Montiel, Marca Chile

We caught up with Daniela Montiel, International Partnerships Manager at Marca Chile, and one of our esteemed jurors for the City Nation Place Awards, to uncover her take on some of the key challenges facing place branding at the moment and what she will be looking for in an award-winning entry.

CNP: Why do you think that it’s important to benchmark and celebrate well-crafted place branding and place marketing strategies?

DM: Often times we are the only ones working on the type of projects and campaigns being carried out within the country, particularly in terms of objective and scope. As place brands, benchmarking allows us to actively share our responses to communication challenges with our peers and demonstrate our best foot forward. In my case, reviewing the benchmarks/entries from the past couple years has truly been a source of inspiration. 

CNP: Is there anything that you’re particularly hoping to see as a member of our jury? Or a top tip for entry writing that will grab your attention?

DM: Don’t be afraid to share efforts that you may deem to have had marginal success within your own regional context—it might make sense for someone in a totally different one.

CNP: How do you think places should be incorporating sustainability into their strategic thinking?

DM: I think we all have a responsibility to incorporate sustainability into our lives as much as possible. As communicators and place brand representatives, we are in a position to give the various efforts going on within our countries new types of platforms and increased visibility. At Imagen de Chile, being part of the official COP25 organizers has given us increased access to such a wide variety of sustainability efforts going on in Chile, we decided to designate specific spaces within our platforms for these as we feel they truly demonstrate the country’s increased concern for the environment and the actions we need to take to protect it.

CNP: What is the greatest challenge when it comes to engaging citizens in your place brand vision?

DM: One of the greatest challenges we face is striking a natural, effective voice in our communications and not allowing the place brand-related media we produce to fall into the institutional video trap. Most citizens are now keen, discerning media consumers—it’s imperative that we stay up to date with communication trends and constantly produce fresh content in order to maintain their interest. This is also a space where the opportunity to form partnerships with other institutions and the private sector really helps us reach more citizens in a more effective way—we are able leverage each other’s strengths and audiences to reach new groups that perhaps wouldn’t otherwise have a reason to come in contact with the country brand.

CNP: Do places need to transform their approach to securing funding for place branding strategies? Are there any examples of innovative approached to funding that you have noticed?

DM: I find NZ Story’s approach very strategic—they apparently secure funding from the various ministries working on issues relevant to the country brand such as tourism, investment attraction, culture, etc. I imagine this structure gives them a certain degree of independence and prevents them from having to necessarily support or focus on a particular sector. 

CNP: Given the long-term vision and collaborative approaches required for effective place brand strategy, what is the most important skill for place branding teams – creativity or diplomacy?

DM: For everyone’s sake, don’t short-change either one! 

CNP: If you had a once in a lifetime opportunity to travel anywhere – all expenses paid – where would you go?

DM: Seychelles!

Missed the event in person? Don't worry...

The Place Brand Portfolio is City Nation Place's searchable portfolio of Awards case studies from the past five years.