As a professional community of practice, one of the unique things we can do is provide encouragement and advice to communities who are facing significant and unexpected local challenges.
Collectively, we represent a significant body of knowledge and experience that can make a meaningful difference to a community dealing with an unplanned disaster or major economic issue they are trying to work through. By contributing your thoughts and advice you can help a community more quickly find a workable solution to their crisis, or at a minimum a stopgap action plan. as a profession, we can be a powerfully positive resource for communities in need.
The first Place BrandAid program focused on helping the Gulf State communities recover from the devastating BP oil spill. Providing local economic development professionals the benefit of your thinking and experience had a positive effect on accelerating recovery of the local place brands, which in turn contributed to the economic turnaround of the Region.
The effort was recognized in chapter 15 of the International Place Branding Yearbook 2011.
“The Place BrandAid initiative is an excellent example of how the SBA project encourages collaboration. Immediately following the BP oils spill in the Gulf of Mexico, economic development professionals and private-sector marketing experts were asked to share their insights, encouragement and counsel on how to repair the damage to the images of communities affected by the environmental crisis. Community members from around the world (34 in total) readily responded to the request, selflessly providing quality input for local tactical consideration. Place BrandAid establishes a new, aspirational standard of cross-state and cross-nation collaboration in economic development that promotes the tenets of cooperation, dialogue and mutual respect.” Burghard, E. & R. Govers (2011) Strengthening Brand America’s Reputation Through Cooperation, In: Go, F.M. & R. Govers, International Place Branding Yearbook 2011: managing Reputational Risk, Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 177-85
The second Place BrandAid initiative is focused on helping communities impacted by the emerging shale energy industry minimize the risk of experiencing a boom-bust cycle and maximize the probability of sustained economic vitality.