NEW YORK - Weber Shandwick Worldwide SVP of public affairs Mike Holtzman heads off to Beijing later this week to finalize the details of a contract renewal to support the Chinese Olympic Organizing Committee after helping it to secure the 2008 Games for Beijing.
As PR counsel to the winning bid committee, Holtzman and his team were guests at the party thrown by the Chinese government in its Moscow embassy on the night the IOC awarded Beijing the Games.
A team of three - Holtzman, deputy John Gans, and WSW Singapore staffer Sharon Ho - had set up a "war room" in the Moscow Radisson, which also housed the international media.
Beijing's final presentation to the IOC was made by China's vice premier Li Lan, Beijing mayor Liu Qi, and the Bid Committee secretary general Wang Wei. The job of coaching this senior trio was a sensitive one, said Holtzman. "I couldn't tell them what to do - I just helped magnify their message."
The IOC was seduced by Beijing's argument that the Games could act as a catalyst for social change in China. This was always the clear message of WSW's campaign, reflected in almost all the coverage of Beijing's bid in the week before and days after the vote.