9:00 P.M. GMT on Friday 27th July, 2012. The biggest event of the year kicked off, and with quite a bang at that. You’d be lying if you said that your life hadn’t been affected, in one way or another, by the London Olympic Games 2012 – I know mine certainly has.
I had clients participating in the event, friends flying out to watch a number of the competitions (Jealous? Me? Not at all!), and my Twitter and Facebook newsfeeds were ablaze with a flurry of status updates and posts about the Opening Ceremony.
And as I sat, watching a slightly trippy mishmash of Mr. Bean playing a keyboard, Her Majesty jumping out of a plane, jetpack-laden men hovering above the crowds and hundreds of Mary Poppins’ flying into the stadium, I thought to myself, “Now, THAT’S good PR!”
Yes, there’s nothing quite like an event of that magnitude to put you in the international spotlight, and so far London has done pretty well. So what PR lessons can we take away from the London Olympics?
Mark Crouser, in a recent article on PR Daily, says that fresh and innovative PR ideas have been the driving force behind many Olympic athletes finding their way to where they are today.
Second, when you’re under the public scrutiny on such a large scale, you need to be more well-prepared than ever before – i.e. don’t project the South Korean flag as the North Korean women’s football team runs out on to the pitch (Locog – I’m talking to you!). And if you do happen to make a blunder – after all, we’re only human – make sure you have a team on-hand at any hour to do some damage control. Issues like this simply can’t wait till tomorrow.
Finally, make sure that all the information being communicated is clear and concise – your target audience in this case is too large to tailor it to a specific demographic, so make sure it appeals to everyone in the simplest form.
And, of course, make the most of the tools available to you. We’ve been blessed with unrestricted access to millions of people through social media, so why not use it. The “Socialympics”, as this year’s Games have fondly come to be known have taken social media platforms by storm, making it almost impossible to keep up with the number of tweets and blogs that are being churned out everyday.
Maybe we need to start treating every single one of our events like the next Olympic Games – we might not have quite the same audience but, if we play our cards right, are certainly capable of making an impact.
Is your campaign Olympic enough?