Ok, it’s corny but conducting media relations during any Olympic Games is unlike any other professional experience we’ve undertaken and being glued to the tube these past two weeks brings much of it back into sharp focus.
Sawmill handled media relations for a luxury inn and resort that was also home to many of the cross country and biathlon teams competing in the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City. The intensity began to build two months before the start of the games and continued to the end of the closing ceremony. The only time we left the property during the three weeks we were on site was to drive into a nearby town to do laundry.
We spent our days and nights servicing the needs and requests of the who’s who of international major media — from The Today Show that arrived on site @ 1 a.m. to be ready for Al Roker to do his weather segments from the property 6-1/2 hours later to The New York Times, CNN, MSNBC, Ski Magazine, Newsweek, Chicago Tribune and countless international media outlets doing live remotes throughout each night.
Our job, of course, was to get every media outlet possible to the property and to then assist them in every way once they arrived. A steady dose of adrenalin was a constant and important companion.
During these past two weeks, as we’ve reminisced about the good old days of the 2002 Winter Games, we’ve wondered how the impact of social media — as well the dramatic change in the number, size and financial health of traditional media outlets in the past eight years — has affected, if at all, the professionalism among media outlets and the PR community at the 2010 Winter Games.
We welcome your comments and anecdotes.