My anticipation of the 2010 FIFA World Cup has been steadily growing since the 2006 Weltmeisterschaft. I caught this note in today’s UEFA Pick of the Week:
Bayer 04 Leverkusen’s home game against Werder Bremen on Sunday ended in a goalless draw, but fans could have few complaints after they were treated to free food and drink due to a computer fault at the BayArena which froze the club’s closed payment system. With fans unable to charge up their special club credit cards, the Bundesliga side generously treated them all. Home goalkeeper René Adler appreciated the gesture – to a point. “The atmosphere in the stadium was great; the club should do this every week,” he said. “It’s just a shame there was no free beer for the players.”
And that just struck me as a job well done by the Bundesliga staff at BayArena in Leverkusen. We see multiple situations every day that stem from small technical glitches or miscommunication – situations that have the potential to turn into major issues for the brand, if not handled well. Sometimes, the best choice for your brand isn’t the best choice for your bank account – at least not immediately. But in the long run, the positive buzz generated from this kind of generosity is worth a lot more than a day’s sales. Now how about some beer for the players?
January is certainly a busy month for PR folks. With the new year comes the task of presenting the new public relations plan and strategy to our clients and colleagues. Often, these plans are developed with a good deal of communication and coordination with the people to whom they are presented. Of course there will still be some nuances and details they haven’t seen or haven’t completely embraced yet. But, generally, if it’s a solid plan in which you’ve incorporated relevant insight and considered the client’s history, things should go well.
But I feel compelled to drag up that phrase that seems to pop up everywhere now: “In the current economy…”
Why does the recession affect our year-long outlook and strategy? A lot of companies are getting thrifty and the PR budget is commonly one of the first to get cut down or axed completely. So the PR plan needs to really stand out as necessary and beneficial.
So what if the account is secure and you’ve created a great strategy for the year, and then the budget gets cut? How do you manage your client’s expectations?
I’ve got faith in you, so I’m going to assume you did a great job in 2008. How do you keep that up or exceed that success with a smaller budget? Do you find ways to be thrifty on behalf of your client? Or do you sit down and tell the client that they need to be realistic about what they can expect you to achieve with that budget? What do you think is best practice for handling this kind of situation?
*Image by strawbleu