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Posts Tagged ‘Rio 2016’

Public Relations Fails to Secure Gold, Silver or Bronze

August 24th, 2016 Comments off

lochte2

Update #1: after writing my blog, knowing that AFIMAC provided executive protection services to several athletes in Rio, I asked my colleague Adrian Vergel a couple questions as a follow up. See his thoughts further down.

I think that my first memory of a ‘non’ something was in a Seinfeld episode many years ago when one of the characters was asked to a party with no notice, with the host knowing full well that the invitee would not be able to attend. It was a ‘non-invite’.

Over the years, ‘non-apologies’ have been getting much attention. For example, a public figure does or says something that is not favourable and the public demands an apology; so they apologize. Their response is, “I am sorry it upset you” or “I am sorry that it was taken out of context.” Not really owning up to anything, and suggesting that they did nothing wrong. It was how others perceived it.

Regardless of what you think about Ryan Lochte’s actions that gained him attention outside of his success in the Olympic pool, he hired a PR firm to assist him. The statement below was his first regarding the situation:
lochte

If this was written for Ryan, which it most likely was, it failed to gain any acceptance from the public and media, possibly because it was a ‘nonapology’.

If history has predicted anything for brands, owning an error vs. trying to talk around it has always yielded a more favourable outcome. (For example Johnson & Johnson (1982), Texaco (1994), Odwalla Foods (1996), Toyota (2010))

As for Ryan Lochte, so far only Speedo has publicly dropped their sponsorship, and although nothing public has been said, sponsor, Ralph Lauren have removed Lochte from their website.

UPDATE #2: before I had a chance to post this blog, Ralph Lauren, Airweave and other sponsors dropped Lochte as well.

Lochte’s teammate Michael Phelps made it back in glorious fashion when his ‘brand’ took a hit, and he lost sponsors, so let’s see what Lochte can do. Whether with or without his new PR firm – they need to prove themselves as well.

UPDATE #3: Although I looked at the PR firms response, Adrian offered his thoughts related to the incident itself. He said: “The role of a security (executive protection) team should include not only the physical protection of the executives or VIPs, but should also consider brand and reputation protection. Keeping the protectees from harming themselves as well as those around them from causing damage.

Had the US swimmers been provided at a bare minimum secure transportation, there is absolutely no way any of this would have happened. If they had a security team with them the whole thing could have been avoided and certainly in the long run it would have saved millions in lost endorsements. A small cost to avoid substantial future loss.”

CEO Peter Martin quoted in The Sun article ‘RIO BOMB THREAT’

August 15th, 2016 Comments off

Page One

A GROUP of eco-terrorists who detonated a nail bomb in Brazil last week have issued a chilling threat to the Rio Olympics – in revenge for ripping up the city to make way for the games.

Extremists at the “Sociedade Secreta Silvestre” organisation – who claimed responsibility for detonating a pressure cooker packed with metal in Brasilia – say they will bomb the Olympics.

They have “declared war” after Rio games chiefs failed to fulfil promises to plant 24 million trees in the city and clean up the polluted Guanabara Bay.

The terrorists were also angered after an Olympic golf course was built on 58,000 square metres of natural park for the games – which had environmentalism as the opening ceremony theme.

A manifesto on the group’s website read: “We will use the Rio 2016 Olympic Games to attack and declare war on hyper-civilisation and its dead world of concrete and steel.

“Our similar units in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo are as well prepared as the tens of thousands of cowards mobilised to strengthen public security for the Games.

“And guarantee that in the states where events occur they will not pass unharmed but will be severely attacked.

“If you don’t want to be within a blast zone, lock yourselves in your basements and stay there.

“Tourists, if you don’t want to share the same end, go back to your rotting cities. You are not welcome nor will you ever be welcome here, except by our explosives.

“We know there are gaps in security and they will be properly used.”

They claimed to be behind the blast of a pressure cooker device in a car park outside a shopping centre in Brasilia, a few hundred metres from the hotel of the host’s Olympic men’s football team.

The explosion, last week, did not cause any injuries.

Brazilian authorities have played down the threat – but security experts were worried.

Peter Martin, a global security consultant, told The Sun: “Despite all the focus on IS these guys are the only ones to have successfully detonated a bomb with actual intent to do some real damage.

“They’re a pretty serious threat. “This seems to have been suppressed by the government and media in Brazil. Environmental groups wanted a lot of things out of the Olympics they have not got.

“They are also the kind of militants who are very difficult to track.”

CEO Peter Martin discusses security issues at Rio 2016 Olympics on Fox News

August 9th, 2016 Comments off

AFIMAC Global CEO Peter Martin discusses security issues at Rio 2016 Olympics on Fox News Special Report.

FocusPoint International: Mickey Winston’s advice on Rio 2016 in Safe Travels Magazine ‘Expert Advice: Is It Safe To Go To The Olympics?’

August 2nd, 2016 Comments off

Expert Advice

Mickey-Winston-profile-picMickey Winston at FocusPoint International

Email: mwinston@wwfocus.com
Website: www.focuspointl.com
Twitter: @mickfpi

FocusPoint is a Global Specialty Risk Consultancy with a focus on Travel Assistance/Crisis Response. We worked in over 100 countries last year and have been responding to crises and evacuating persons for over 30 years.

Mickey has over 25 years in the security industry and has held management positions with several Fortune 100 companies and spent over 10 years managing security for a high net worth Family managing all aspects of both personal and corporate security for their financial firm.  He has extensive experience in corporate investigations, crisis management, physical security and executive protection.  Mickey is a U.S. Marine Corps Veteran, serving 7 years as both an infantry NCO and a Marine Security Guard at US Embassies.

How safe is it to go to the Olympics?

In my opinion, you can travel to pretty much anywhere, depending on your appetite for risk and willingness to implement security measures to ensure your safety.  With regards to Rio De Janeiro, I think it’s safe to attend the Olympics.  The chances of being a victim of a terrorist incident are slim, but the chances of being a victim of a kidnap, robbery or violent crime are more likely.

What are the biggest risks?

The level of street crime is dangerously high and although there will be a massive police and/or military presence in and around the Olympic venues, other areas of the City will not have coverage.  There have been several reports of athletes being victims of express kidnaps and robberies pre-Olympics, and this will probably increase during the Games.

What are the overlooked risks?

While everyone is focused on crime and terrorism, I think the risk of political unrest, getting caught up in some kind of violent protest action is high.  Travelers could unwittingly be cut off from their hotels or groups and then be vulnerable to injury or arrest etc.  The probability of a vehicle accident and/or medical mishap occurring is very high.  The availability of quality medical care and emergency response services will certainly be tested throughout the Olympics.

How should people mitigate this?

Have a plan.  Ensure your plan extends beyond the sights and sounds of the Olympic experience.  Situational awareness is key.  Be aware of your surroundings.  Know the contact numbers for your Embassy or Consulate.  Make sure your mobile device works overseas and you know how to use it locally in Brazil.  Identify medical facilities ahead of time and make sure your insurance will cover you if needed.  If your existing insurance will not cover you, purchase protections that will.  Keep abreast of changing threat dynamics through available media outlets – newspapers, television, social media, etc.  Secure transportation ahead of time and avoid public transportation as much as possible.  Know what to do and where to go if a crisis event occurs during your Olympic experience. Speak with hotel staff or Brazilian friends about what is going on.  Stay away from the area of official Government buildings that might be the focus of a protest or terrorist incident.  Make sure you can get in contact with your fellow travelers, groups in case you get separated.

AFIMAC Global CEO Peter Martin quoted in CNN article ‘Rio Olympics: Brazil vows to be ready in case terror strikes’

July 8th, 2016 Comments off

CNN

Rio de Janeiro has long had a reputation for dangerous favelas, with muggings and kidnappings not uncommon. But authorities are stepping up measures to tackle a different kind of security threat altogether when the Rio Olympic Games begin August 5.

Wary that the international sporting event is a potential prime target for terrorists, Brazilian forces have been working with specialist French SWAT teams to simulate attack scenarios.

In one drill, Brazil special forces and a police dog chase down an armed gunman to thwart a possible attack on Rio’s subway system. The dramatic display is meant to reassure journalists that a country with limited experience in handling terrorism is ready for the unthinkable.

“There is not a specific threat,” said Lt. Gen. Luiz Linhares with the Brazilian Ministry of Defense. “You have to screen for a great (spectrum) of threat.”

The Brazilian government said it is not taking any chances — especially after the recent terror attacks around the world, including in Turkey, Bangladesh, Iraq and Saudi Arabia.

Security is visible at a checkpoint Tuesday at the Olympic Village in Rio de Janeiro.

Linhares said authorities will be screening the ticket names of the hundreds of thousands coming for the Rio Olympics, South America’s first games.

Brazil’s intelligence agency reported in April that the number of those influenced by ISIS ideology had increased in recent months but insisted there was no threat to the Olympics.

Brazil mostly lacks the presence of extremist networks that terrorists rely upon, but at least one ISIS fighter tweeted after the November 2015 Paris attacks that Brazil would be next. Several ISIS members have launched a Telegram channel in Portuguese, the official language of Brazil.

The UK government’s latest travel warning advises citizens going to Brazil that “there is an underlying threat from terrorism. Attacks, although unlikely, could be indiscriminate, including in places frequented by foreigners.”

There have been no major terror attacks in Brazil in recent years, but Peter Martin, CEO of security firm AFIMAC Global, said the country does have serious organized crime issues and therefore could leverage high-level training to combat that problem within the Brazilian special forces.

“When you’re going after gangs like that, there are a lot of similarities to terrorists with intercepted communications, informants trying to penetrate the organization, trying to understand what the next target is,” Martin said.

“It is different, but a lot of the methodologies apply. Brazil has been doing that for a long time.”

Problems with police

Police and firefighters protest pay delays this week at Rio de Janeiro’s main airport.

Some 22,000 troops will be stationed at the games, officials said, but the capability of the police force has been the focus of recent scrutiny.

For days, members of Rio’s law enforcement have been protesting over late wages. The state of Rio de Janeiro requested an emergency federal bailout after it said it was unable to fund essential public services.

Angry police officers have been camping out at the international arrivals hall of Rio de Janeiro’s main airport holding up banners that say, “Welcome to hell,” and warning visitors they will not be safe in the country.

A 2.9 billion-real bailout (roughly $850 million) was made available last week after acting Gov. Francisco Dornelles said the games could be a “big failure” without the funds. It’s believed that the back pay will be distributed this week.

Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes told CNN this week the state was doing a “terrible” job in regard to security in the lead-up to the games.

“It’s completely failing at its work of policing and taking care of people,” Paes said.

But Brazilian officials later put on a united front to assure the world that Rio was up to the task of hosting sport’s greatest showpiece.

Delays in construction

Also complicating security efforts is the unfinished construction of several Olympics sites and infrastructure.

Corruption probe into Olympics construction projects

“The construction is so far behind. (There are) the roads that were meant to have been built by now, and we’re not sure if they’re going to be open in time,” Martin said.

A tremendous amount of planning goes into mapping out the fastest routes to secure medical attention or safe zones. Parking for events may end up being farther away, he said, which means exposing people to being outside the security perimeter for longer periods of time.

“Because of the lack of development, we’re still not being told where all of those are going to be right now. Usually by now, we’d have that planned and done.”

What to do if you’re going to Rio

Martin said anyone traveling to Rio for the Olympics should know how to reach emergency services and monitor the situation on an ongoing basis.

“People need to understand that these situations are fluid, and it’s not enough to make an assessment a month out and say, ‘I’m good to go.’ You want to monitor the situation quite frequently,” he said.

“Understand that the police response is going to be limited potentially if they go on strike. Know your local hospitals, know how to dial (numbers). Take more personal responsibility to your safety.”

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