[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.