Robert Govers
Helps communities become more admired

Are you thinking about the reputation of your city, region or country in this globalized and multipolar world? Well, if so, you are in the right place as this is uniquely the topic that I advise governments and their stakeholders on; which I study, speak and write about (for 20+ years).

Why me?

How it started

Driving cars through Europe and the Sahara Desert to sell them in Niger (in 1989 and 1990) and exploring China and Russia on the Trans-Siberia Express (1992) as a student, I quickly realised that what we think we know about the world is very superficial, cliché and stereotype. This made me embark on a PhD supervised by Erasmus University Rotterdam professor Frank M. Go (may he rest in peace), to whom I am forever grateful for pushing my career in the direction that it took.

Which topics linked to the branding and reputation of places am I most passionate about?

Positioning Strategy, Identity and Image, Symbolic Actions / Imaginative Initiatives, Community Imagination. I typically advise in areas such as place identity, image, reputation, economic competitiveness, tourism policy and strategy, educational policy, tourism and investment promotion, and major international events. This is approached from a strategic reputation management perspective, which is based on the premise that places build reputation through actions, as opposed to propaganda. I also co-authored the Good Country Index.

Services offered:

Reputation management and strategy consulting, research, training and public speaking.


My research and experience show that for cities, regions or countries to be admired they:

  • have to be admirable
  • through a sense of identity, belonging and virtue
  • by which to influence international perceptions
  • with access to mainstream and social media buzz
  • by building unique experiences
  • through imagination and leadership
  • and community collaboration

Contributor to:

Apolitical World Economic ForumPalgrave Macmillan



EIU Perspective