Pearce International has introduced innovation to Press Operations over the years but no more so than in the area of post event interviews. We know that post event media conferences, organised routinely and slavishly after each match or after each medal, is not necessarily meeting the needs of the modern day journalist.
PI created and introduced the idea of the I-Zone™ – an area within easy access of both the field of play and media work areas divided up into multiple interview points – where more relaxed interviews take place between competitors and the media. The various interview points can be used for one-on-one interviews, one journalist with multiple competitors or one competitor with multiple journalists. It is a bespoke solution for the media’s needs – the right people, in the right place, at the right time.
The idea was first tried at the Invictus Games in 2014, and was fully developed at the inaugural European Games in Baku 2015 where it replaced both post event media conferences and press mixed zones. Non-rights holding broadcast cameras were also allowed in with camera equipment which directly led to increased coverage of the Games. The format has proved popular in hockey too. It was first tried at the EuroHockey Championships 2015 and by the time of the Hockey Champions’ Trophy 2016 it was being used and praised by team managers, athletes and journalists alike.
In 2017 it returned to Baku, where the Islamic Games were held. It also proved its versatility at the World ParaAthletics Championships in London 2017 where it handled everything from artificial limbs to wheelchairs.
In 2018 it continued to show its applicability to most sports, where we used it at the World Indoor Athletics in Birmingham. With the fast pace and huge number of individual athletes and events at athletics, we really showed it can be used almost anywhere. In 2019 we used it at the Pan American Games in Lima, across all sports except football, and then later in 2019 we implemented it again at the Netball World Cup in Liverpool in 2019, a first for this sport.
Now we will be implementing it for the first time at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in 2022, where we expect it to be a great success. It has been gathering fame and support at the highest level, including in the UK Houses of Parliament where it was mentioned at the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee on the 19th October 2021. Check out this mention at 10:46 on parliamentlive.tv, where we are described as “the best specialists in media operations” with the I-Zone being referred to as “potentially the way forward.”
The only question is… what does the I stand for? Is it innovative? Is it interactive? Is it interview? Is it interesting? Or as the Select Committee suggests, could it be intimate or refer to an invitation ?You decide!