City Council websites as a means of place brand identity communication
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- Florek, M., Insch, A. & Gnoth, J. Place Brand Public Dipl (2006) 2: 276. doi:10.1057/palgrave.pb.6000036
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This study investigates the place branding characteristics of New Zealand's City Council websites. Focus is given to place brand-building tools delivered through the World Wide Web since it is often the first contact point for stakeholder audiences, especially those located overseas. To investigate their place branding characteristics, a conceptual framework is developed comprised of three tools of place brand identity communications: place brand design, place brand behaviour and place brand communication. The results of the content analysis of New Zealand's 16 City Council websites shows that brand communication items were represented the most frequently (slightly more than brand behaviour characteristics), while brand design items were the most diverse. Among the surveyed websites, none was especially distinguished in terms of any of the specific features to communicate the city brand. The framework developed in this study and its application to New Zealand's City Councils offers the first step in developing a tool to monitor and benchmark the tools of place identity and place brand communication in the online environment. Future research should be directed to monitor the place brand identity communication tools of these websites and their integration with other place identity branding tools.