How we handle the massive press corps in Beijing

Behind the Scenes - British Olympic Association head of PR and political relations Louisa Huddy in Beijing.

'Minder': Huddy takes charge
'Minder': Huddy takes charge

'At this moment I am peering through the smog at the stadium, although the IOC tells us it is only "haze",' laughs the British Olympic Association's (BOA) head of PR and political relations, when PRWeek caught up with her last week.

When in the UK, Louisa Huddy promotes the BOA as the body responsible for getting a UK team to the Olympic Games.

Since flying to Beijing last Monday, Huddy has switched from 'planner' to 'minder', becoming the media handler for UK athletes stuck in a maelstrom of 20,000 journalists.

'When the athletes finish their event, we escort them through the Mix Zone (the field of play press area),' she explains. 'If they win, they walk into a scrum, so we make sure the UK press, particularly the BBC, get to them first.'

'Besides our four-strong BOA team, individual sports such as athletics and swimming have press teams on site,' says Huddy, 'but we act as a central hub'.

Over the next two weeks they will feed the global thirst for 24-hour news on the event. 'None of us expect to get much sleep,' she admits.

The Government wants the BOA to bring back 41 medals. If Team GB manage that, Huddy is unlikely to get much shut-eye on the team's homecoming jet either.

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