Panev÷žys city marketing program for theyear 2005-2007CHALLENGEPanevezys City Municipality decided to improve city’s image in substance. VRP | Hill & Knowlton haswon a competintion to prepare “Panevezys city marketing programme for the year 2005-2007”.The ambitious objectives were raised for the new program of city’s image creating with the principaltarget – to join the competition between other leading cities. The new image of Panevezys and thechosen marketing actions had to attract more investments and EU financial support, to vouch the biggerflow of tourists and the loyalty of Panevezys inhabitants to their home city. There was an important task:not only to propose the city’s image creation strategy and tactics but also to assure efficiency of thisprogram.It was evident that it will be more and more difficult to find and anchor city’s uniqueness in the regionalpolitics fight and for the city to become a centre of attraction. Vilnius, which has the best positions fromall Lithuanian cities, is widening it zone of influence with the dipolar project, Kaunas is alsostrengthening its positions. Druskininkai is actively changing town face, Alytus prepares marketing plan.And there is not only Panevezys witch pretends to become a centre of the Nordic region but alsoSiauliai. Anyksciai has very good possibilities to become the cultural centre of region of Aukstaitija.The surveys showed that until 2004 Lithuanian media had dedicated more attention to the criminal actsin Panevezys then to positive city’s life phenomenon. The journalists and the general public associatedPanevezys with high criminality and in general viewed it as prospectless city. The image of Panevezysas theatre and photography or other arts centre was declined and the stereotype of Lithuanian Chicagowere rather deeply positioned.PROJECT DESCRIBTIONSeeking to find out about the city image among Panevezys inhabitants, its weak and strong aspects andits perception by whole Lithuania inhabitants a sociological survey was carried out. Survey’s conclusionshowed that Panevezys city provokes rather negative associations for Lithuania citizens, but Panevezysinhabitants them self are real patriots of their city.According to this survey’s results and SWOT analysis we have created positioning composed from city’simage definition, the slogan and the principal actions directions. The chosen position, which is TheLeader of Lithuanian regions, allows Panevezys to reveal the positive changes and still unvalued theregional leadership. It is helpful to reflect for instance realistically one of lowest criminality indicators inthe country or x times more investments per capita then in Siauliai. The chosen positioning is alsohelpful to reflect the forthcoming positive changes in the city and new projects in development (shoppingand entertainment centre Babilonas, construction of sports, entertainment and business centre, plans fordevelopment of logistic centre and many more). This positioning is also helpful to reflect the results of
successful companies (Malsena, Panevezio keliai, Panevezio statybos trestas, Kalnapilio-Tauro group,Linas, etc.).We proposed to solidify the chosen status by developing of three main communication lines – leader ofthe region(s), favourable business climate and rich public life. The communication’s line The Regional Leader positions Panevezys in respect to all Lithuania, formulates it uniqueness and competitive advantage in business, logistics, tourism and living environment in comparison with other Lithuanian cities. The objective to become the Lithuanian regions leader is ambitious and its credibility depends directly on real economic and political changes that took place in Panevezys but were poorly visible. The line Favourable business climate shows Panevezys’ attraction for present and future investors, for inhabitants of Panevezys or of all Lithuania who already have or would like to start they own business. Panevezys is a good place for business, a good place to work and live. The line Rich public life shows a manifest attraction of the city (region) for the tourists and inhabitants them self.According to this positioning the slogan Panevezys. New direction was created and it develops allabove-mentioned Panevezys city image communication lines, expresses an emotionally attractiveambition and detaches from negative image of the past.For the development of all communication lines we proposed the concrete actions and distinguishedunderlying activities. Seeking to assure an efficient implementing of the program we made an internalcommunication analysis. According to the analysis results we offered the suggestions how to organisethe municipality’s work synchronizing all communication with the new image creating. The new city’spositioning was presented to municipality’s heads and specialists, the recommendations for efficientimplementing of program were suggested.The program included not only creative ideas, but also all structured actions of municipality havingimpact on Panevezys image and foreseen till 2007. It involved the methods of communication withmedia, propositions for e-communication, public actions and rituals, initiatives for promotion ofcommunities and business events, presentation of most important city development projects,communication of festivals, initiatives for cooperation cities partners, advertisement actions, etc.We proposed for instance to include the public communication “rituals”: to frame the club of famousPanevezys people, to create a forum for meetings between the leaders of the city and therepresentatives of groups of interests, to institute traditional city actions and events. The communitypromoting initiatives as “2 percent for my city”, “safe neighbourhood”, “safe playgrounds” and similarprojects proposed by VRP Hill & Knowlton arouse interest and attention.
We created the theoretical base for the further municipality’s work, which will ensure the positioning ofcity’s image. To maintain the homogeneity of the actions the logo supporting the city slogan and theintegral city-representing stile (souvenirs, info publications, website elements, etc.) were created; thedirection for the exhibitions in Lithuania and abroad was defined.RESULTSLately performed sociological survey showed that inhabitants of Panevezys have felt more positivechanges in the city then other big cities’ inhabitants.Leading the prepared marketing program, presentations of the city are arranged in different kinds ofinternational and national expositions: successful performance of Panevezys city in MIPIM 2005Cannes, in international business exposition EXPO Aukstaitija, exhibition Miestas 2005 (City 2005). Newtourist routes are being planned; tourism information is structured and published. First time held forum ofinvestors have attracted participants from foreign embassies.For the Panevezys city prepared marketing program became a part of integrated legal activities planningdocument – strategic development plan of the city. It was achieved that the program became functionaland separately successfully developed document.Police, members of tourism centres, academic, business community, artists and other members of citycommunity have involved into implementation of the program. Representative material of the qualitativecity was created. The program of city’s sociality encouragement has got big support. For instance, heldcampaign “2% for yourself, for relatives, for the city”: people gave 2% of income tax to the city (in all 22thousands LTL), which will be dedicated to install new video cameras for observation in the city. Peoplehave actively participated in the project of “Safe neighbourhood”, contests of nicer environment. Specialattention is paid to the quality of city events organization, uniqueness of public actions – for exampleevents and festivals held in Panevezys got attention from Lithuanian media. For instance duringChristmas time held action of the largest sledges got almost the same attention as the event oflightening up of the Christmas tree in Vilnius. Information about city events has changed its quality;improvement programs with cities-partners are being prepared.During the implementation of Panevezys city marketing program, changes of city image are noticed:positive events and initiatives of the city get more attention from the media. Consequent activities ofPanevezys have inspired other cities competitors – Siauliai has also started to create city logo andmotto.Formation of the image is a long lasting process. Other more clear changes will be showed afterrepeated sociological surveys.