The challenge of internal stakeholder support for co-creational branding strategy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This article focuses on co-creation as a strategy and the challenge of applying theories of co-creation in practice. Place branding and a co-creative strategy based on art is used as an example of a special type of public relations concerned with building connections between stakeholders and a specific place. This is investigated through an analysis of how key internal stakeholders in a municipality understand the co-creative strategy for branding urban renewal, looking at their understanding, alignment and support for the strategy. An organizational ethnographic approach is used and the analysis is based on interviews with 16 administrative municipal managers from five different departments. Four different rationales are identified among managers. The study highlights how these profound rationales among internal stakeholders become a challenge in branding. In theories of co-creation, absolute consensus between stakeholders is assumed. In complex organizations, such as municipality, a more realistic goal is to establish compatible zones of meaning among internal stakeholders. It is concluded that public relations practitioners and researchers must cope with this reality when they approach public relations as co-creation.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Economic Geography


  • internal stakeholders, co-creation, art event, place branding, public relations
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)323-341
JournalPublic Reltions Inquiry
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Publication categoryResearch