Strategic Objectives co-founder Judy Lewis hosted a dynamic expert panel in her session, It’s a Brand New Day at the IABC World Conference on June 8, 2010.
Speakers included Shelley Simmons, Director Brand Communications & Values, The Body Shop, US, Mexico and Canada; Peter Morrissey, Associate Professor at Boston University and President and CEO, Morrissey & Company; Jacqueline Ryan, Royal Bank of Canada Director of Olympic Marketing.
Jacqueline and her team created the phenomenally successful RBC Olympic Program. The program far exceeded their expectations based on all measurements. Best of all, the RBC program engaged the hearts of Canadians from coast-to-coast and our entire nation. Although the 2010 Olympic Games were held in one city—Vancouver—the RBC program built brand equity across the country through its unique grassroots approach.
The RBC Olympic Program was successful for several reasons:
1. RBC was first out of the gate and stole the spotlight.
Jacqueline and her team planned activities two years in advance of the actual Olympic Games and created a brand strategy to “win before the games even began”.
2. They engaged stakeholders, employees and communities simultaneously.
They were able to achieve this through their Olympic Torch Relay program which allowed them to reach out to more than 80% of the Canadian population in more than 1,000 communities.
3. PR effectively drove and built momentum at the grassroots level.
PR and its grassroots approach proved to be effective in making RBC the most visible Olympic sponsor in overall media coverage and profile.
Overall, the RBC Olympic program enhanced their brand image, drove revenue, engaged employees and gave them an opportunity to have genuine and authentic relationships with the communities. It was definitely a moment for RBC and everyone was watching.
All speakers agreed that PR can generate powerful and direct results that can advance positive change and business success.