Arizona brand strategy

This question was asked recently “Does Arizona need Rebranding or Public Relations Crisis Management?” You can see the full article, context and responses here

“Does Arizona need Rebranding or Public Relations Crisis Management?” is the wrong question to ask because they are confusing the issue by asking a question that doesn’t make sense. PR at whatever level, is an important component of a brand strategy but it is only one element and cannot, on its own, drive or build a brand. So it is not an alternative to a rebranding exercise.

The article outlines four attributes in the Arizona Travel and Tourism branding guide. To access the guide, Google “perception of Arizona” brand.The attributes, are geared towards tourism (predictably) but Branding a state is not simply a tourism exercise. After all, the main issue at the heart of the problem is an immigration issue and although I don’t have much information, I doubt the immigration issue is a tourism issue.

A brand strategy should involve tourism (and in most cases can be driven by tourism) but it should involve other stakeholders as well. I wrote a ‘How to brand a city’ article here. Although it is related to cities, many of the rules can be applied to a state as well.

If Arizona has a brand strategy, those responsible for the strategy should have been consulted when the law to address the challenges of illegal immigration was being drafted and then given a mandate to develop a comprehensive and integrated communications campaign, including PR but also other channels such as Social Media to explain the law. This campaign must focus not on cool creatives or catchy tagline like vibrant variety but on content that resonates with the target segments and must communicate with those segments through channels favoured by those segments.

Unfortunately, because Arizona does not appear to have a brand strategy, the state is now on the back foot as it tries to address issues raised over what is always, but even more so now, a very contentious issue.