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

Heather Yaxley is passionate about PR - teaching the CIPR qualifications, lecturing part-time at Bournemouth University and running the Motor Industry Public Affairs Association (MIPAA). I'm undertaking a PhD looking at Career Strategies in PR. I love sharing ideas and knowledge - connecting news and views by blogging on public relations and educational developments, especially relating to accelerated and active learning. I'm also a published author, qualified trainer and experienced consultant.

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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