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Learning about nation branding in 2008 

Nation branding is probably going to be one of the most talked-about subjects among everyday people in 2008, if new developments in that area are anything to go by.
   On the 6th, my friend and colleague Simon Anholt alerted me to a great new addition to the blogosphere: his blog. Simon is putting down his thoughts on an area where he has become the most recognized practitioner, and it’s a very valuable read. Italy, Kenya and Latvia are covered in recent posts, and Simon’s blog is one of the very few that come from a branding expert who deals with nation branding as his main gig—rather than the part-time approach I have to it.
   Simon’s written his blog in an easy-to-understand fashion but if you want greater clarity, then another friend and colleague has worked some magic, too: Keith Dinnie. Keith has written a book called Nation Branding: Concepts, Issues, Practice, published by Butterworth Heinemann.
   What I love about this book is not just the fact that Keith has gone around interviewing folks like Simon and me through 2007 to keep it all current, but he explores the different schools of thought about nation branding, the country-of-origin effect (a good complement to this is Eugene Jaffe and Israel Nebenzahl’s National Image and Competitive Advantage: the Theory and Practice of Place Branding) and greater strategic questions, and backs them up with case studies. Other luminaries who were approached include João Freire, Leslie de Chernatony, Chris Macrae and Stephen Brown, and a whole heap of other smart people whose names keep popping up in the academic journals.
   Looking through those schools of thought, it’s scary to note that I can be pigeon-holed theory-wise!
   I should not overlook the expertise of Keith himself: not many people could have put a book like this so expertly together, and I take my hat off to him. He has a heap of knowledge on the area already and Nation Branding is a superb effort in getting so many supporting authorities into one work.
   If you want to know anything about the area, these are two of the best places to start.

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Entries from 2006 to the end of 2009 were done on the Blogger service. As of January 1, 2010, this blog has shifted to a Wordpress installation, with the latest posts here.
   With Blogger ceasing to support FTP publishing on May 1, I have decided to turn these older pages in to an archive, so you will no longer be able to enter comments. However, you can comment on entries posted after January 1, 2010.

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