WMG2017 required an external communications programme in the lead up to the Games to help drive awareness, engagement and excitement about the event by supporting and enhancing the marketing activity, leading to at least 25,000 athlete registrations, needed to achieve revenue targets.
Furthermore, the external communications programme needed to engage non-participating audiences, particularly Aucklanders and the wider New Zealand public and ensure they received information and coverage of the Games and an awareness of the event's success.
The Wright approach
Wright Communications Group Account Director Simon Roche took on the role of WMG2017 Communications Manager, part time in the lead up to the Games and full time during the event. By working seamlessly as a member of the WMG2017 Marketing and Communications team and wider organisation, Simon developed and delivered a comprehensive external communications programme - including all planning, processes and content - as part of an integrated marketing approach in the lead up to the Games.
Wright Communications also developed and implemented a detailed, operational Games-time External Communications Plan which included proactive communications management, issues and incident management, stakeholder management, media accreditation and management and supported content development and management across all channels during the Games.
More than 28,000 registered participants were attracted to the Games.
As of May 2017, WMG2017 had achieved an average of 97.8% positive or neutral media coverage during 2016/2017 (target 80%). The coverage reached a cumulative (domestic and online) audience of 50,847,025 (target 20,050,000).
In addition, media coverage was achieved on BBC World, AL Jazeera and CNN globally and Wright Communications identified and developed an opportunity to create a one hour highlights package of the Games to air on TVNZ in June 2017.
The External Communications programme received extremely positive feedback from many domestic and overseas media for the constant flow of information and professionalism in the lead up to and during the Games.