How much does branding matter in attracting new residents to an island like Samsø?
Well, in my own personal experience the answer is: It matters!
Admittedly, when I learned about the job as a PR and communication manager at Samsø Tourist and Business Center I was initially a bit reluctant about making the move from the big city to a small rural community. But the fact that Samsø has successfully been branding itself as a renewable energy island and received an impressively exposure – even internationally – definitely influenced my decision to apply for the job.
The image of Samsø as a progressive and visionary community in contrast to the typical negative conception of rural communities being dark spots on the map frozen in time was crucial in convincing me to make the move.
Based on this however subjective experience my conclusion is that branding alone might not be the answer to revitalizing rural communities by attracting new residents, but it must be a vital part of the strategy.