Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Press Conferences and Ambush Marketing

Singapore. (30 July 2010. 0945 hrs). I was involved in the organisation of a press conference to publicise an upcoming major sporting event recently, and noted that need for PR professionals to be centrally plan and execute all aspects of the conference.
During the press conference, a photo opportunity was planned for the media to capture the distribution of ice-cream to the event participants. Unfortunately, the PR team was focused on ensuring that the presentation slides were in order, the logistical set-up perfect and the proper people selected and prepared for the media interview. The organisation of the photo opportunity was delegated to the logistics team.

Unaware of the phenomenon of Ambush Marketing, the logistic team proceeded to purchase the required number of ice-cream for distribution without any consideration for the brand. Thankfully, an hour before the press conference was to begin, a member of the PR team noticed the brand of ice-cream to be distributed and the photo opportunity was cancelled. This, without a doubt, averted a potential crisis with the sponsor.
Ambush marketing is a common phenomenon surrounding major events. PR professionals must therefore centrally plan and execute all aspects of a press conference to prevent it.

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