PR has opportunity to extend sponsorship online

Interesting to see how Mazda used its sponsorship of the London Triathlon event with CoverCars reporting its journalists’ participation in the event and some company directors competing rather than just enjoying corporate hospitality.

A Heroes gallery and mocked-up magazine covers provided a personal souvenir for each competitor.  But apart from CoverCars, there seems to be little blog reporting or engagement.

I found one competitor had uploaded some photos online and there are a few user-generated videos on YouTube.  This appears to have been a missed opportunity for Mazda to have developed the Heroes gallery concept further using new/social media.

From a PR perspective, typically maximising sponsorship has involved branding in photographs, corporate hospitality, competitions and editorial coverage (where the sponsor is often lucky to get a mere mention). 

Social media offers a new opportunity, but it means engaging with participants, spectators and others to bring an event to life.  Behind the scenes footage and reporting can be offered to those with the self-publishing means to reach online audiences.

Providing places online where such materials can be published is another approach, as well as supporting real user-generated content rather than simply producing corporate offerings.  After all, if you’ve been there, social media is a great way of recording the memories.  It would be good to see Mazda pick up on this in future.

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Heather Yaxley PhD

Dr. Heather Yaxley is passionate about sustainable careers, reflective practice and professional development. I am a rhizomatic educator, practitioner, consultant, academic and scholar. As a qualified academic, I teach the CIPR professional qualifications with PR Academy and have experience teaching at various Universities. I run the Motor Industry Public Affairs Association (MIPAA) and my own strategic consultancy. I was awarded by PhD researching Career Strategies in Public Relations by Bournemouth University in 2017. I'm a published author, with books, chapters and academic papers to my name.

3 thoughts on “PR has opportunity to extend sponsorship online”

  1. I’m having a dim moment I think. What do you mean by ‘Behind the scenes footage and reporting can be offered to those with the self-publishing means to reach online audiences.’ Targeted influential bloggers?

  2. Not necessarily “influential” bloggers but anyone who may be able to widen the reach of information if they are given the opportunity to look behind the scenes.

    This may be participants or spectators of events who could be willing to record their experiences – video or blog diaries for example. Or it might be fans who would be very enthusiastic about an opportunity to see more than they normally do and would publish photos or discuss in forums. These people may well use Flickr or YouTube already, but an organisation could enhance their experience.

    I think getting to those already interesting and supporting an event is a useful approach. Bloggers may be another channel, but as we see with a lot of the anti-PR sentiment, you need to be careful that any offer for participation in an event was done in the right way.

  3. Your observation on the power of insider PR is right on. Insider experience is the best way to capture what is happening and to create more coverage to a sponsored PR purpose.

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