In helping various host cities in the communication of an event – in particular guiding them to find their exact role in the communication of an event as well as their unique ‘Sweet Spot’ – we have developed five simple hints to keep in mind so they can communicate with impact.
- Tell your story first: Be proactive and innovative in engaging potential visitors to your city long before the event starts. If you don’t tell your story early, the event and the action on the field of play will take center stage and the opportunity to have your voice heard will be lost.
- Be focused, yet flexible: Be sure to have a clear message and know what you want to achieve (focus), while also finding the right approach to speak in a tailored and deliberate manner that accounts for different generations and types of audiences (flexible). There is no one size fits all.
- Prioritise city, not just event: Your city is what makes whatever event you are hosting unique. So don’t allow the news about the organisation of the event or any timely event communication (i.e. tickets, qualifying athletes, etc.) overshadow your longer-term ambitions and messages.
- Don’t think only local: Local engagement is vital, but it should not override efforts to reach and influence wider national and international perceptions. This is likely where the long-term impact on your city will come from.
- Balance new and old: Ensure you are being authentic by building upon existing messages and channels while also bringing new and innovative approaches that fit with the event. You need to be consistent with what you are already doing, but give it a creative boost through the use of the event.
Our research and experience has shown that many host cities wish they would have done things differently. So, keep these six hints in mind when planning the communication around your next major sports event and you’ll see that you can make a big and lasting impact.