Quite a week of results if you view the achievements of Barrack Obama and Lewis Hamilton as ‘remarkable’.
Neither want their race to be the main story, but the issue is clearly there. Today, the UK breakfast television media is focused on the historical election of the US’s first ‘black’ president – his colour being their opening statement. Hamilton’s success in becoming F1 champion was somewhat overshadowed by the racist Spanish website.
Of course, media messages are simplified – there is also focus on both Hamilton and Obama as young achievers.
When Hamilton started out on his road to success in April 2007, I wrote a post, which I think has significance today in relation to Obama’s election.
I warned about how expectations soon get out of proportion with the mainstream media becoming over-excited; with a tendency to “big ‘em up, bring ‘em down.” I said:
Managing public and media relations needs a long-term strategy – so although the immediate headlines and benefits of being “remarkable” will be great news for all the PR folk involved with Lewis, the challenge is to ensure the initial momentum moves in a positive direction for a life-time career. Achieving that is truly remarkable.
Hamilton has a lot of issues (racism, unpopularity with fellow drivers, etc) still requiring careful PR management.
For Obama, the momentum will be much more momentous – the public relations challenge perhaps the biggest in the world.