The PR nightmare is over – it’s time to enjoy the games
Maybe Rio Would have benefited by a better PR firm and fired the one they currently use.
Rio was awarded the Olympic Games when their and the world’s economies were in much better shape. The economy took a rapid downturn in the last couple of years. So, much of the funding being used for preparing Rio for the games has been diverted from government programs to pay for these Olympics.
The Rio games have been riddled with bad press, even though many of the problems have been handled. But, because PR was not done alerting the public about the steps taken to resolve the crises, many of the earlier stories stick in the public’s mind, who believe the problems still exist.
Some of the noticeable misconceptions are police and firemen holding up signs saying, “Welcome to hell.” This sign was only up for one day until the police and firemen received their back pay, and then the signs were removed. Another misconception centers on the unfinished subways lines. And they’ve cleaned up the waterways and venues for swimming events by removing any human waste or stray body parts in the waterways. So swimming and water sports events should be safe again.
In Favelas, the neighborhoods that are run down, crime-ridden, and where poverty is extremely high, the drug dealers were selling drugs in bags with the olympic rings on them. Recent articles suggest that this is cleaned up as well. Perhaps again, this is where some Crisis PR planning and efforts could have benefited the country.
The Rio games seem to be about 90 percent sold out now, putting them close to the levels of attendance at the Athens games, which is good. However, the games won’t boost the economy as Rio hoped. Most of the major venues have been completed just not the way originally planned.
It is important to note that most of the bad PR was from several months ago, and much has been resolved since it’s now winter in Rio and the mosquito carrying the Zika virus is not so much of a concern. Does this mean that there are not small hiccups? No, there are always going to be those at any games, like the wifi not working or light bulbs missing in Olympic Village.
The scenery has been dramatic and well worth viewing, visitors are being warmly welcomed, and small details have and are being ironed out. So, maybe it’s time to get back to the fun – the highs and lows of the games. We love the chance to cheer for our teams. It’s time again to shut out the worries of the world and enjoy the ceremonies.
One thing that other countries can learn from these Rio games is the importance of having a great PR firm to assist in planning for and setting up all aspects, including a crisis management plan showing the best of the games.