The risks of nation branding as crisis response: A case study of how the Danish government turned the Cartoon Crisis into a struggle with Globalization

Rasmus K. Rasmussen, Henrik Merkelsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (SciVal)

Abstract

In this article, we investigate the limitations of organization-centric
models for crisis communication in handling place crises. Two distinct types of place crisis are identified as what we respectively term the ‘sudden’ and the ‘ongoing’ type. We point out that place branding traditionally has been used to handle the latter type. We then demonstrate how the inspiration from corporate communication in place branding has led to a fixation on reputation, which becomes salient when place branding is used as crisis communication in sudden crisis. Here the corporate inspiration tends to rule out alternative strategies for handling crises based on ‘societal models’. Through a case study of Denmark’s so-called Cartoon Crisis we demonstrate how crisis communication falls short of coping aptly with the complexity of the crisis due to the branding-inspired translation from ‘sudden’ to ‘ongoing’ crisis. We thus argue that the Danish government’s solution in nation branding aimed at the reputational implications failed to address the immediate consequences of the crisis vis-à-vis national security and exports. And that this solution in turn created the reputation as additional risk. We conclude that a broader societal perspective on crises therefore is needed in the emerging academic literature on place crisis communication.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)230-248
JournalPlace Branding and Public Diplomacy
Volume10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Communication Studies

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