Thursday, 8 July 2010

South Africa can look to the World Cup final after successful PR operation - but what next?

Sunday will see a new name on the World Cup as Spain and Holland battle it out but for the host nation, the Public Relations team can breathe a sigh of relief.

A tournament marked by pre-event mutterings of discontent from the Western media didn't get off to the best of starts with steward strikes, as locals saw the opportunity to improve working conditions with a well timed strike:

Some swift action by the government put the strike down and out of the news agenda and since then most of the media coverage has been focused on the football taking place.

In this respect, South African officials must be relieved. Yet this campaign will be judged by the long term economic impact on the country and no matter how much officials look to control the flow of information the world will expect results.

It seems, however, that the world should not hold its breathe. Only recently a major pay strike amongst construction workers was avoided that could have jeopardised the World Cup final ( and this adds to the sense that once the TV cameras have stopped rolling, the money in the local economy will leave with them.

This is why it is so important to return to South Africa, to find out exactly how the country has developed. From their perspective, they must be open and proactive in giving the world's media the examples of development and increased local prosperity which can drive the legacy of the tournament.

Whether or not these examples exist, we shall see.

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