Restoring the 1984 L.A. Olympic Rings.
For 16 days in the summer of 1984, the world watched as the Olympic Rings blazed on prominent display as Los Angeles hosted the XXIII Olympiad. Two decades later, the highly esteemed symbol that had once graced the majestic walls of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum during the Olympic Games was found tarnishing in an abandoned storage area fully exposed to the elements of weather, time and neglect.
Steve Soboroff, president of Playa Vista, took it upon himself to save the Rings and relocate them to a final resting place. With private funding for the restoration secured, Soboroff turned to TriSight Communications in March 2004 to handle media coverage and event planning for an early May unveiling. Eleven TriSight members teamed to tackle the challenge. Two campaigns were developed: 1) Media campaign for the removal and restoration of the Rings, and 2) Event coordination and media campaign for the return and unveiling.
For the first campaign, the strategic platform "Saving the Rings" was developed. A media advisory was faxed to 45 outlets the day before the Rings were scheduled to be retrieved from storage and transported for restoration. The TriSight team followed-up with pitch calls to select local media. Detailed press kits were developed and distributed to key media outlets via mail and in-person to those who attended the event.
"Return to Glory" was selected as the overarching strategic theme for the unveiling. TriSight's event team spent eight weeks preparing for the Rings' event: keynote speakers, collateral materials, location logistics, stage, flags, posters, podium, sound system, press risers, music, refreshments, parking, and mailings - to name a few. Official protocols, scripts, talking points and press interview avails were developed.
Dignitaries on the program itinerary included the Honorable Mayor Jim Hahn, City of Los Angeles, Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Commission President Bernard Parks, Olympian Rafer Johnson, and celebrity emcee Paul Sunderland.
An impressive media turnout and subsequent print and broadcast coverage took even the most seasoned public relations professionals by surprise: 15 TV broadcast mentions in 11 states, 5 local print media articles, national print coverage, front page of LATimes.com, local National Public Radio story, and Associated Press distribution of captioned photos.
Photo credit: Mark Flaisher
Next Agency Meeting
November 21, 2011
Annenberg West Lobby