Today marks the start of the final 100-day countdown to the London Olympics, which will give 'Brand Britain' arguably its greatest PR opportunity yet. Of course, the coincidence of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee makes the year even more special.
So far the signs are looking good. The Olympic Park and other facilities are effectively all ready, and many of the venues have hosted test events – raising public interest and providing valuable training for the thousands of volunteers who will be helping to make the Games run smoothly.
At this stage it seems that if Lord Coe and his organising team have fallen down, the ticketing process will be the first to be blamed. In fairness, though, it's hard to imagine any other system of allocation being judged 'fair' by those who don't get a seat at their choice event.
The challenge now is for the whole of the UK – especially the hospitality sector, transport workers and retailers, as well as the wider business sector and the general public – to recognise the important opportunity that the Olympics provides to market Great Britain. We won't have the same opportunity again, so we'd better make the most of this one!
So what does the London Olympics teach us about running a good PR event? There are several points:
1 Negotiate a fair budget at the outset
2 Appoint good management
3 Plan meticulously
4 Communicate with stakeholders
5 Implement plans according to budget and timetable
6 Check and test every possible detail before opening doors to the public.
You'll find this helps with any event, from a small cocktail party … to the Olympics!
David Goddin was born in the UK and educated in South Africa. He began his career on daily newspapers and trade journals, before moving into public relations consulting. He produced award-winning writing and became an Accredited PR Practitioner, the highest qualification of the Public Relations Institute of South Africa. Since his return to the UK 17 years ago he has also contributed to a number of highly successful PR and marketing communications campaigns for major national and multinational clients. He is currently also President of the Haslemere & District Chamber of Trade & Commerce.