SMART CITIZEN ENGAGEMENT: 
The Case of Athens
Why branding matters? Brand Knowledge Brand Trust Brand Loyalty 
For Tourists: 
Because they would choose a destination br...
FOUR 
KEY 
FACTS
FACT #1 
“Countries are judged by what they do, as they have always been, and not by what they say’’. 
Simon Anholt
FACT #2 
Perception is more Powerful than Reality.
FACT #3 
There’s no smoke without fire..
FACT #4 
“No single national stakeholder has control over all of the factors that affect a country’s reputation’’ 
Source:...
the question is..
Can you successfully brand 
an entire destination?
At least most of us agree on that: 
destination branding seems to be working within tourism
what about destination branding 
and citizen engagement?
ONE 
MAJOR 
CHALLENGE
lack of control and 
multiple competing stakeholders
FOUR 
KEY 
PRINCIPLES
A symbiotic relationship which needs commonly accepted goals to evolve 
Tourists 
Businesses/Investors 
Residents 
#1
Strong Leadership with sufficient authority can set the focus point & establish the necessary mechanisms of stakeholders e...
#2
Online/Offline Integration at the Core: From Fragmentation to Wholeness. 
#3
It’s not just about heritage & culture. 
brand-building must focus relentlessly on creating new value frontiers 
#4
citizen engagement increases when civil order is ensured and urban environment is clean & functional. 
#5
The Case of Athens/Greece
A Story of Rise..
….and Fall
Not just an economic crisis
social stability under threat
no public funds available
urban improvement projects & policies on hold
on-going 
negative exposure
Stage One: Identifying the Problem
aggressive media in major source markets
falling tourist numbers 
(Athens)
social depression
unfair competition from inside = Isolation
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oj06RMIo_Cc
however..
in every crisis lies opportunity.
social awakening & urban activism movements
private 
initiatives
public-private partnerships
120m fund for historic centre regeneration
This Is My Athens Program: 
Engaging Locals for Tourism
Stage One: 
Setting the Goal 
‘‘to engage local people, showcase the everyday life in Athens, promote a flavour of true ex...
Stage Two: 
Plan & Develop the Program
PHASE ONE
PHASE TWO 
Launch a volunteers visitor greeters program
Stage Three: 
Engage & Support
Listen to the (Athens) Locals
Engage Local Audience via online channels
and offline activities.. 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SJymu5KVENA
provide support via visitors information & services
PHASE THREE 
Evaluate Results 
5.000+ photos 
400+ Athens Locals so far.. 
Hundreds of Visitors Requests.. 
Monitor & Eval...
Stay Relevant 
Breathtaking Athens – Real Time Tourist Safety Information
To Sum Up..
We cannot control everything being said about the destination’s brand
but by actively listening to visitors & locals feedback
We can better manage the destination’s reputation, improve our tourism product & achieve higher levels of social engagemen...
‘‘The way to gain a good reputation is to endeavor to be what you desire to appear’’ Socrates
Thank You 
www.aboutourism.com 
@about_tourism 
Manolis Psarros 
CEO/aboutourism 
mprarros@aboutourism.com
Smart Citizen Engagement
Smart Citizen Engagement
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Smart Citizen Engagement

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Published on

Smart City Branding Forum -
(Barcelona - September 2012)

Published in: Marketing, Business, Travel
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Smart Citizen Engagement

  1. 1. SMART CITIZEN ENGAGEMENT: The Case of Athens
  2. 2. Why branding matters? Brand Knowledge Brand Trust Brand Loyalty For Tourists: Because they would choose a destination brand only when they can trust it. For Destinations: Because a trusted brand brings about tourist loyalty. Source: Brand Knowledge, Trust and Loyalty { A Conceptual Model of Destination Branding/ Cathy Hsu Liping - A. Caiy
  3. 3. FOUR KEY FACTS
  4. 4. FACT #1 “Countries are judged by what they do, as they have always been, and not by what they say’’. Simon Anholt
  5. 5. FACT #2 Perception is more Powerful than Reality.
  6. 6. FACT #3 There’s no smoke without fire..
  7. 7. FACT #4 “No single national stakeholder has control over all of the factors that affect a country’s reputation’’ Source: ETC/UNWTO Handbook on Tourism Destination Branding
  8. 8. the question is..
  9. 9. Can you successfully brand an entire destination?
  10. 10. At least most of us agree on that: destination branding seems to be working within tourism
  11. 11. what about destination branding and citizen engagement?
  12. 12. ONE MAJOR CHALLENGE
  13. 13. lack of control and multiple competing stakeholders
  14. 14. FOUR KEY PRINCIPLES
  15. 15. A symbiotic relationship which needs commonly accepted goals to evolve Tourists Businesses/Investors Residents #1
  16. 16. Strong Leadership with sufficient authority can set the focus point & establish the necessary mechanisms of stakeholders engagement about developing a shared and welcomed view of the future. #2
  17. 17. #2
  18. 18. Online/Offline Integration at the Core: From Fragmentation to Wholeness. #3
  19. 19. It’s not just about heritage & culture. brand-building must focus relentlessly on creating new value frontiers #4
  20. 20. citizen engagement increases when civil order is ensured and urban environment is clean & functional. #5
  21. 21. The Case of Athens/Greece
  22. 22. A Story of Rise..
  23. 23. ….and Fall
  24. 24. Not just an economic crisis
  25. 25. social stability under threat
  26. 26. no public funds available
  27. 27. urban improvement projects & policies on hold
  28. 28. on-going negative exposure
  29. 29. Stage One: Identifying the Problem
  30. 30. aggressive media in major source markets
  31. 31. falling tourist numbers (Athens)
  32. 32. social depression
  33. 33. unfair competition from inside = Isolation
  34. 34. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oj06RMIo_Cc
  35. 35. however..
  36. 36. in every crisis lies opportunity.
  37. 37. social awakening & urban activism movements
  38. 38. private initiatives
  39. 39. public-private partnerships
  40. 40. 120m fund for historic centre regeneration
  41. 41. This Is My Athens Program: Engaging Locals for Tourism
  42. 42. Stage One: Setting the Goal ‘‘to engage local people, showcase the everyday life in Athens, promote a flavour of true experiences and an alternative image of the city through the integration of online/offline marketing methods’’.
  43. 43. Stage Two: Plan & Develop the Program
  44. 44. PHASE ONE
  45. 45. PHASE TWO Launch a volunteers visitor greeters program
  46. 46. Stage Three: Engage & Support
  47. 47. Listen to the (Athens) Locals
  48. 48. Engage Local Audience via online channels
  49. 49. and offline activities.. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SJymu5KVENA
  50. 50. provide support via visitors information & services
  51. 51. PHASE THREE Evaluate Results 5.000+ photos 400+ Athens Locals so far.. Hundreds of Visitors Requests.. Monitor & Evaluate Set KPIs # of requests # of Athens Locals # visitor satisfaction survey results Web & SM Metrics media coverage
  52. 52. Stay Relevant Breathtaking Athens – Real Time Tourist Safety Information
  53. 53. To Sum Up..
  54. 54. We cannot control everything being said about the destination’s brand
  55. 55. but by actively listening to visitors & locals feedback
  56. 56. We can better manage the destination’s reputation, improve our tourism product & achieve higher levels of social engagement.
  57. 57. ‘‘The way to gain a good reputation is to endeavor to be what you desire to appear’’ Socrates
  58. 58. Thank You www.aboutourism.com @about_tourism Manolis Psarros CEO/aboutourism mprarros@aboutourism.com

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