SAN FRANCISCO and BALTIMORE: Bids to host the 2012 Olympic Games have entered the critical stages, and among the US cities bidding, the action is particularly hot on both coasts. Ketchum PR is hosting the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) in San Francisco, and Warchaw-ski PR is preparing the final proposal for the Washington/Baltimore region.
Ketchum brought out the big guns for the USOC's recent visit to the Bay Area. Baseball legend Willie Mays gave a tour of PacBell Park, a potential venue, and USOC members met with the Mayors Brown (Willie of San Francisco, and Jerry of Oakland).
On the East Coast, Warchawski was selected by the Washington, DC 2012 Committee, without competition, to create a brochure outlining what the Chesapeake region has to offer, and to compose the 100-page final bid to be submitted in September. The agency's pro bono work will complement Burson-Marsteller's lead in trying to bring the Games to DC.
Ketchum has worked hard to win support from all communities for San Francisco 2012, the organization behind the Bay Area's Olympic aspirations.
"PR has been incredibly important to our bid, said Tony Winnicker, SF 2012 communications director. "With Ketchum's support, we have tried to be as accessible as possible to a media used to asking tough questions.
That was important in getting media and community support."
SF 2012 and Ketchum's PR strategy is to show the USOC the solidarity throughout the Bay Area's divergent communities, from outreach to environmental organizations, to commissioning 12 artists to create posters for SF 2012.
Ketchum, working pro bono, also highlighted the area's tech strengths.
Hewlett-Packard created software for PDAs loaned to the USOC, which provide information about every sports venue in the Bay Area.
"The overall strategy is to look at the influencers in the greater Bay Area, and to a larger extent, California, said Ketchum account supervisor Michelle Sibbitt. "We're working with the media, politicians, community leaders, and technology leaders. It's important to get everyone involved, because this bid is a community bid, and a community effort. We are showing that having the Olympics here is supported by the entire Bay Area."