Taking Gold in PR
Anytime the spotlight falls on the world’s biggest event and most strictly guarded brand, you can be sure there will be more than a few PR issues. By now we’re confident you’ve read about each of the Olympic PR successes and debacles extensively, but here’s a visual roundup of the most memorable incidents and lessons.
The Olympic Brand: The Iron
Curtain Gate Wall Titanium Barricade
Of all the brands with all the regulations in the world, perhaps none is as stringent as that of the Olympics. Legions of brand enforcers patrolled the streets and stadiums of London, along with the airwaves and webways. If you were looking to watch a clip of Usain Bolt’s mind bending 9.63 second 100 meter dash or 007 leaping from a helicopter with the Queen, you might have gotten a glimpse of it on YouTube for the .0001 seconds it was up before the brand police yanked it. Official (insert product here) of the Olympics are just as regulated—the official soft drink of the Olympics is Coke, Pepsi isn’t even allowed in the stadium. Check out the actual brand standards on the Olympics webpage for a laugh at the detail.
Lesson: Always be mindful of other brand trademarks and copyrights as you publish or produce anything, or you could be in for a world of hurt.
London 2012 enjoyed its fair share of problematic media encounters. From Ryan Lochte’s seemingly purposeful lifelessness in interviews, a series of Tweets from athletes that resulted in their expulsion from the games, and Mitt Romney’s unfortunate use of the word “disconcerting,” there were plenty of media missteps taken. Click on Ryan and you'll see what we're talking about.
Lesson: In the social media era, anything and everything has the potential to be instant news on the national or international stage. Choose your messages carefully and be prepared for interviews!
Meme-tacular—McKayla Maroney is not amused.
If you don’t know what a meme is, well, yes you do, because you’re exposed to them every day if you have internet access. Just about any silly YouTube video that has gone viral is a meme. Memes take many forms, but as they appear on the web, it just needs to be a ubiquitous image or message that can be self-replicated for different meanings. The biggest meme sensation to emerge from the Olympics was the now infamous McKayla Maroney scowl. What would you write in this meme to make it relevant for you?
Lesson: Integrate memes into your social media presence—content is king, and these highly recognizable and always funny tools can help drive traffic and interaction with your page.
The feral (or Ferrell) side of national pride…
Well, click on Will here and see for yourself.
Lesson: It’s easy to let the competitive spirit suck the humor and fellowship out of games, business and life. Remember to laugh.