Are Great Events Matching Marketing and Communication?
Am I a marketing master? No. Am I a top-notched communication expert? No way. That said, the lessons of the past few months were so clear, that even I was able to catch them.
Let’s start from the beginning: Italy has lived one of the most terrible moments, being one of the first nations hit by the pandemic in 2020. As if it was not enough, the communication about it was frantic, hysterical, and confusing: use a mask, the mask is suffocating, the vaccine will save us, but it is dangerous… Everyone was feeling in charge to shout their own thoughts. We found out we were a nation of virologists, so as we are a nation of football trainers when our national team is playing any match.
As I am spending the last months of my working life studying Economics, I am naturally interested in marketing and communication. Communication from politicians, for example, is always a free masterclass of marketing. Politics has a miscellaneous of interests: public governance, of course, but also marketing of one party vs the others. It is a common perception that politicians have to keep their voters as if they were customers.
So, after the mess of Covid and vaccine, with my strong belief of having the worst speakers in the world, I discovered that Italy is not on the last step of the stair.
Of course, I am thinking of the Eurocup final, but not only.
In May, Italy won the Eurovision Song Contest with the rock band Maneskin. They had just received the prize, and they were heading to the stage to perform their winner’s show, when some French supporters gave start to an absurd debate over Maneskin’s singer. They claimed the victory was illegal, as the guy was seen sniffing cocaine, which was false. This matter arrived in French newspapers, and it was solved only a couple of days after the Contest, when the picture of the singer was analyzed and it showed the guy bent on the table in front of him, collecting some pieces of broken glass.
First lesson: never claim any damage if you did not have any.
Take your time to get the complete picture, and be sure about the whole data, before bringing any claim into question and asking for any sort of compensation. The reason is quite simple: no one will believe you next time, even if you are right.
Let’s go to the Eurocup football final. Who has seen it knows that Italy won the cup against England, but I do not know if, outside the two countries, anyone had seen the expectations of the two countrys’ supporters. Italians are superstitious, so no one said “we are winning”, but “fingers crossed”. England was sure they were going to win …well, they felt they had already won, with the promise of a new national holiday, and tats to celebrate the victory (before playing the match). The two national teams entered the stadium with two completely different attitudes: Italians were motivated, Englishmen were sure.
Second lesson: motivation is boosting, certainty is halting.
Where can you find the energy to bear two hours of effort if you think you are not deserving of them? In other words: you cannot struggle to run a marathon if you feel you are already at the finish line. It’s a life lesson we can apply to everything: sport, work, life… Your career (your marriage, growing up your children…) is a path you can go by, if you are motivated to complete the journey, one day after the other, with all the lessons you can learn every day. You cannot progress in anything if you feel you already made it and you have nothing to learn.
After the match, Prince William was not seen congratulating the winner and honoring his national team. Some newspapers reported he had done both, but he was not seen. Besides, the Prince had tried to reach the Italian President to greet him, but he was stopped by his bodyguards.
Third lesson: we are living in the communication era.
It’s even more important to show what you are doing than your actual actions. Well, it is quite uncommon to organize one’s actions with bodyguards, but for everyone else the lesson is easy: take action and reply immediately. Even most important: let your teamwork know that you are a doer. Your leadership takes off when your team knows that you are not procrastinating. Ever, on any occasion.
At the semi-final of the same event, Italy won against Spain. Mr. Luis Enrique, the Spanish trainer, said he was sad about losing, but he was also happy because he had seen a great match, and he would have supported Italy at the final. Class is not water.
Fourth lesson: it can happen to lose, but you can always keep your dignity.
You might miss an opportunity, even if you had worked hard on it. You may miss that promotion you thought to deserve, you might lose a sum. You might lose your job, even if you think it is unfair. But you are not obliged to lose your self-respect. That’s a further price no one obliges you to pay. Keep the life lesson that is hidden into any failure, and leave the rest.