Tag: Olympics (page 1 of 1)

Too good

[Originally written for the CIPR Friday Roundup.]

Regent Street London July 2012

The headline on my S3 this morning marks a marketing and PR lesson: Cameron urges people to return to capital amid 'ghost town' claims.

For the past several months, Londoners have been bombarded with messages begging them to adapt their normal routine during the Olympics period, to question their need to travel, to expect over-crowding and travel chaos in so many words.

My schedule hasn't changed. I'm jumping on the 94 from West London to Oxford Street every morning, and the return journey every evening, and it's been fantastic. The bus is half empty, the roads are half empty, and the journey time is the quickest I've ever known. But what's good for me hasn't been good for central London restaurants, theatre and other consumer serving business.

So this begs the interesting question, can a communications campaign over-communicate? Success in this instance has not increased in proportion with the resonance of the message. The resonance has been too great and we have overshot the happy optimal balance.

From a measurement and evaluation perspective, the output metrics will be out of line with the desired outcome. The output metrics will look awesome, the outcome looks considerably less so.

Despite this hiccup, it's been a fantastic games so far, excepting that badminton match, and I'm looking forward to the second week and a couple of dinners in town.



London 2012 Olympic rings forged

(Originally written for the CIPR Friday Roundup.)

You'll congratulate me for noticing there's a sporting event starting today in London town. Too obvious then not to interweave some Olympic statistics into today's Roundup.

It's 2579 days (just over seven years) since London won the right to host the 2012 Olympics. The exact price tag is still to be totted up, but we're looking at somewhere north or south of 10,000,000,000 sterling; four times the original estimate.

The Olympic Delivery Authority has overseen the construction of 30 new bridges, the restoration of 8.35km of waterways, the building of 1.8km of sewer tunnels, the demolition of over 200 buildings, the removal of 52 electricity pylons, and the cleaning of more than two million tonnes of soil. And some more besides.

This exemplifies what organisations invest most of their information systems managing – the flows of time, money and materials. Managing these flows is business critical. Obviously.

The 21st Century organisation must extend its information systems to cover a fourth kind of flow, the flow of influence. Sure the Olympic Delivery Authority understands marketing and communications, but there is influence in everything an organisation does and sometimes in what it decides not to do. It's not just the domain of marketing and public relations. And the sooner organisations get the systems, processes, skills and culture in place to keep on top of the way influence goes around comes around, the quicker they'll put themselves in a gold medal position.

Happy Olympics.

[Photo credit: Nick J Webb]