New Book Features Strengthening Brand America Project

Every once in awhile you get some news that is special and makes your day. Today I received an email from Robert Govers that the International Place Branding Yearbook 2011 has been officially published. It made my day because Robert and I co-authored a chapter in the book that focused on the Strengthening Brand America Project.

I’m excited about being published, but I am also excited about the growing awareness and use of the Strengthening Brand America website.


  • The website now averages between 500 and 600 visits per week. July – September 2011 visits index 217 versus July – September 2010. While there is clearly upside growth potential remaining to be achieved, the growth rate in usage has been remarkable.
  • In 2011, visits have come from 147 countries. Of those visits, 58% are from the U.S., and 42% are from international locations. I have been amazed and appreciative of the willingness professionals from around the world have demonstrated to share their expertise in place branding.
  • On average, 29% of visits are repeat visits suggesting a growing loyal group of professionals who find value in the content.


You have been the key to success of the Strengthening Brand America Project. I am humbled and so appreciative by the number of emails I receive encouraging me to continue creating content and sharing advice on how to reapply product and corporate branding principles to economic development.

You have also been key to generating awareness of the Strengthening Brand America website as a resource for educational information on the subject of place branding. Thank you for sharing the website link with your contacts and for participating in the community by sharing your knowledge through comments on blog posts you find interesting.


The International Place Branding Yearbook 2011 has the following objectives:

  • To improve understanding of the place-branding phenomenon, through synthesis and drawing material together for practitioners, researchers and educators.
  • To provide a ‘state-of-the-art’ review of research through the lens of selected individual case studies.
  • To interpret the challenges of reputational risk that place brands face, particularly through the exploration of the theme of perception methodology research and content analysis.


Robert Govers is currently serving as Adjunct Associate Professor at the Consortium University of Leuven, Belgium. He is also the co-founder of, a virtual community for place branding professionals. In addition to this he is a visiting faculty member and consultant working with Hotel school The Hague, the Rotterdam School of Management, IULM University in Milan and several institutes in Dubai. Prior to his return to the Benelux, he worked in Dubai as a senior lecturer. Together with Frank Go he is the author/editor of several books on place branding and has also co-authored several journal articles and conference papers in the field of place branding, tourism, hospitality and quality management, e-commerce in tourism, and tourism research and marketing. As a project manager, Robert has been involved in many consultancy projects for organizations such as the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the European Commission, the Flemish Government and various Dutch ministries and tourism promotion boards. Robert started his teaching career as a visiting lecturer at the Witwatersrand Technikon, University of Johannesburg, South Africa, and as a Research Associate for the Centre for Tourism Management at the Rotterdam School of Management. He has taught courses on place branding, marketing, services marketing, strategic services marketing, and research methods.

Edward Burghard is a retired Procter & Gamble Harley Procter Marketer, a global appointment awarded by P&G to their top brand builders. Since the mid-2000s, he has been focusing his attention on the reapplication of private-sector product and corporate branding principles to communities, states and nations. As Executive Director of the Ohio Business Development Coalition, he has had a unique opportunity for hands-on learning through the application of his 33 years of brand mastery to build a globally competitive Ohio brand. Recently, he has taken on the challenge of building a stronger Brand America through the creation of a place-branding community of practice for both professional economic developers and students interested in the field of practice ( The underlying hypothesis is that transference of private-sector branding knowledge to the public sector will result in the development of stronger state brands, and in aggregate a strengthened Brand America. Ed has a BA in Mathematics from the State University of New York at Potsdam, NY, and an MBA from Syracuse University, NY.


“The key to strengthening Brand America is to focus on being better at ‘walking the walk’. Effective application of place branding through cooperation is one way to ensure that adequate attention is paid to assure the authenticity of Brand America. The SBA project will catalyze improved application of place branding by economic development professionals, and is one way to ensure the restoration of a globally strong Brand America…”

Citation: 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 Yearbook series has a plethora of best practices of interest to economic development professionals. I would recommend the series to anybody interested in better understanding place branding.

You can click HERE to learn more about obtaining a copy of the book.


I am proud of and flattered by my participation as a chapter co-author in the International Place Branding Yearbook 2011. But, there is no financial relationship between the publication and myself.


I’d love to hear what you like and don’t like about the Strengthening Brand America website. I’d also appreciate any advice you might have as I look forward to supporting the website in 2012. I’d also like you to know how genuine my thanks are for making it possible for me to co-author a book chapter that shares the Strengthening Brand America story.


If you like the Strengthening Brand America website please share this blog post by forwarding it to a friend. If you have a Facebook account, become a fan of Strengthening Brand America. If you are a LinkedIn user, join the Strengthening Brand America Group. If you like twitter, follow BrandAmerica to keep track of updates on this website.

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