Olympic Anticipation

It’s official. Britain’s biggest security challenge since that Royal wedding is now only a year away, and the athletes aren’t the only ones feeling the pressure….. July 27th saw the one year countdown to the start of the London 2012 Olympic Games. Hundreds turned up to celebrate at the ceremony in Trafalgar Square which marked the countdown kick-off.

Since the race to get a ticket left many applicants disappointed and caused some negative press, the organising committee are trying their best to whip up a feeling of anticipation. David Cameron and Boris Johnson were mobilized to pitch the games to the public and press, and were obviously keen to share every key message they’d been briefed on beforehand.  It is a chance to create good PR for the country, with Cameron commenting “I believe this will be a great advertisement for our country. We must offer the greatest ever games in the world’s greatest country”.  The PR team driving the Olympics is almost as important as the construction team itself. They are the ones that have the opportunity to portray Britain in a positive light and the preparation is as much in their hands as the builders.

The large PR team behind the Olympics have come up with a number of tools to promote the games and enthuse the population – there is already “an interactive Twitter stadium and world map” where the public are encouraged to Tweet support for countries (http://www.london2012.com/get-involved/one-year-to-go.php).

Populus research on MPs feelings towards the games revealed that some Olympics sponsorship campaigns are proving more successful than others. More than half recognised Coca Cola, Visa and EDF as partners but BMW and Cadbury may need to re think their strategy (http://www.prweek.com/uk/news/1082163/MPs-struggle-identify-London-2012-Games-official-sponsors/).  Meanwhile brands that might be tempted to use the Olympic name unofficially have been warned to stay on the right side of the law.

So far, the preparations seem to have gone smoothly and are ahead of schedule so first impressions are positive overall. However, transport and security continue to demand further detailed planning and are a potential threat to the publicity of the games. Anything that can be criticised will be, and the eyes of the world media will be on the UK.

In one years time the capital will be playing host to 10,500 athletes from over 200 different countries, and 20,000 media bodies (not to mention the spectators watching from the stadiums and televisions). Will the UK finish preparations on time? Will security and transport plans be executed with military precision? And the question on everyone’s lips – will Boris put his foot in it or will a year be enough time to sufficiently media train him to avoid embarrassing the country? Let the games commence…

Written by Admin– www.bluewoodtraining.com – August 2011

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