First impressions are important, but it is often a longer-lasting perception that defines an organisation’s status. It is the role of our Public Relations (PR) colleagues to manage our own reputation to external audiences. Whether communicating with the media or engaging with our fans, the PR team has to have its finger on the pulse at all times.
Whenever you read something about our team in a magazine, on a website or through our Facebook, Twitter or Instagram channels, it is likely to have originated from our PR team. They may not contribute to the performance of our car out on the stages, but it is their job to communicate to journalists and fans around the world regardless of our results.
The two main pillars of PR are media relations and social media management, with a particular emphasis on content creation and reputation management.
Like most of our roles, PR is not a traditional 9-5 job. Our team needs to be aware of everything that is being said about our company – from journalists’ rumours to representatives’ comments. News develops quickly, especially on event, so it is important to be constantly alert.
We always have PR representatives on-site during WRC and other big events. It is important to be present to deal with any requests or respond quickly to any developments. They work with print, TV, radio and online journalists, to provide information, interviews, images and videos. Any requests for drivers, co-drivers or our senior management are coordinated through the PR team and scheduled accordingly.
Media around the world make use of our regular press releases, which are produced at the end of each day during a rally, as well as between events.
With the expansion of our customer racing department operations into R5 and TCR, the role of PR has also grown. Through these activities, we speak to different audiences, build relationships with journalists outside of the core WRC programme and support our newest department to become fully established.
Alongside the traditional support, PR is also responsible for engaging with our millions of social media followers globally. It is their job to provide exclusive, up-to-the-minute content for a wide variety of followers. In a digital world, our communications have to be immediate and allow fans to feel part of the action wherever they are in the world.
It is not just on event where we are competing against our respected rivals, we are also battling with them off the stages for the support of millions of rally fans – just like you!