Does Bratislava need a PR agency?

Bratislava desperately needs to be promoted as a tourist destination, including organizational and financial backing. At present, neither Bratislava Information Service (BIS) nor city hall are running marketing services for Slovakia’s capital.

There should be some other way to secure promotion for the city. What about founding a non-profit agency responsible for overall marketing of the city? There is one in Vienna, Birmingham and also in Turin. U.S. cities on the move, such as Cleveland or Baltimore, have one too when they are in need of polishing up their image.

Such an agency would be responsible for marketing and advertising strategies based on its own research and surveys. Naturally, it would administer its own web page with a broad range of tourist information, as well as a hotel booking system and online ticket office to cover cultural events in the city. The agency will represent Bratislava across the globe at international tourist fairs and exhibitions and provide an information service to journalists who cover tourism.

The most important thing, however, is to “sell” the major image making factors that would attract tourists to visit the city. It could be "the city of music", "traditions of wine", or "the natural Madurodam" - a small lovely historic centre where everything is within walking distance. This strategy must be accompanied by a corporate identity (CI) design with a good slogan. More about CI will follow in the next issue.

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