Using soft power to help cities grow


Using soft power to help cities grow

In a globalised world, cities are more than ever competing for investment, talent, recognition and cultural clout.


ING Global Cities Digital Visibility Series

Cities are brands and their communications and messaging shape how they are seen and talked about. The challenge is to ensure the quality of conversations happening across all forms of media – including digital – helps cities activate their unique stories.

At the cutting edge of communications, PR, digital media and wider urban cultural dialogues, ING has an extensive track record of helping cities as diverse as London, Lisbon, Leipzig, Istanbul and Helsinki to thrive in a connected world.

Visibility matters more than ever to cities. Yet there is little comparative research into the impact digital messaging is having on cities as brands.

There are now over 300 rankings that seek to benchmark cities on almost every aspect of urban life – rankings influence where investors choose to put their capital, where businesses decide to locate, where talent concentrates, and where we choose to travel.

In response, ING has developed a unique ranking based on digital analytics to reorder Europe’s Top 40 cities, based on global city rankings, by their share of the online conversation. The analysis is illuminating and demonstrates which cities punch above their weight and which have the most potential for increasing their digital profiles.


Europe’s most talked about cities


Perhaps unsurprisingly, London and Paris are Europe’s most talked about cities, having the greatest share of the online conversation. But within the overall ranking, cities like Lyon, Rome, Manchester, Hamburg, Geneva and Edinburgh are punching well above their weight.

While places like Copenhagen, Stockholm, Zurich, Oslo and Warsaw are not realising their comparatively stronger positions and have the most potential to grow their digital profiles.

The analysis can inform future strategies around brand positioning, communications and inward investment campaigns, helping cities to craft their stories and better position themselves within the online conversation, using soft power to build reputation and help cities grow.

The full ranking of Europe’s most talked about cities is: London, Paris, Madrid, Rome, Barcelona, Moscow, Istanbul, Berlin, Milan, Amsterdam, Manchester, Brussels, Vienna, Lyon, Dublin, Munich, Hamburg, Prague, Birmingham, Lisbon, Frankfurt, Athens, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Helsinki, Geneva, Stockholm, Warsaw, Tallinn, Budapest, Zurich, Copenhagen, St. Petersburg, Oslo, Belgrade, Riga, Gothenburg, Bucharest, Vilnius, Ljubljana.

If you would like to learn more about how ING works with cities email:

Jason Rubinobg-fbf6f0