19 October 2022

How it works: the communication pole

From July 8 to 17, 2023, the World Para Athletics Championships – PARIS’23 will be in full swing. To best organize this event, an organizing committee was set up in April 2022. But then, what are the different poles of this organization? What are its basic missions? During the whole month of October, we tell you everything! So come and discover the many facets that make up the Organizing Committee of the World Paralympic Athletics Championships (COMAP).

For this new service presentation, we met Camille Foret, head of the communication pole.

Hello Camille, to begin with, can you explain to us what is the role of the communication pole within COMAP?

Camille Foret : “I would say that the communication pole is not defined by a single role, but several.
At the same time the main objective is to make the event known to as many people as possible, to guarantee a positive image of para-athletics and to provide a unique spectator experience, but our mission does not stop at simply filling a stadium, it goes beyond that. Participating in the acculturation of the general public through awareness, popularization and clear messages are also actions inherent to our sector of activity.

We must not limit ourselves to the communication of the event as such, we must think legacy, in other words, what is left after the Championships?

Obviously, we are only a punctual actor of this mission of acculturation, that the French Federation of Handisport, the Federation of Adapted Sport or the French Paralympic Sports Committee have already been carrying out for many years. But in the end, the more the message is carried, the more it will be heard. The competition remains an essential communication medium to convey the values of Paralympism.

From a purely organizational point of view, the communication pole is at the service of each sector of COMAP but especially of the participating athletes. It is important to highlight the main actions that the team implements to spread and amplify the messages, while ensuring overall consistency.

We take the information and distribute it at the right time, to the right target.”

How many people are in the department?

C.F : “Today we are 6 people, without counting our 7 regional relays, partially invested in ticket sales and awareness of regional actors.

Communication is such a broad sector, which includes digital, media, broadcasting, event design… that it is important for us on this event to surround ourselves with experts, to increase our skills and to use them for the benefit of future organizations.

We work in particular with the agency Com’Over on the digital and media strategy. We are also working with the agency Lever de Rideau on an ambassador mobilization strategy.

The agency Sool Design will assist us with the graphic design, as well as Brool Video for the audiovisual content.

Beautiful collaborations that suggest many projects to come.”

What are the missions of the department?

C.F : “Among the 6 full-time members, we find Arthus, responsible for the promotion of the ticketing, guaranteeing the number of spectators in the stadium.

Cécile is in charge of press relations and information. In particular, she is the link with the Com’Over agency and promotes the actions internally.

Théo, our digital communication manager, takes care of all the social networks, newsletter and programmatic to amplify the messages on the web.

Jimmy handles the editorial and website and makes sure that all information is disseminated, centralized, and accessible.

César, freshly arrived in the team is in charge of the graphic declensions and the motion design. He translates COMAP’s messages through illustration.

This makes for a great team that is motivated and ready to fight!”

How does the team work?

C.F : “Each one of them has a very specific mission, nobody steps on each other, we listen to each other, we help each other and we advance. Of course we do a collective review every week and individual reviews on request, but in the end it is not the most important thing to move forward.

The key word of our team is trust. We all have something to contribute, we all want to give the best of ourselves. Mistakes happen to everyone, but mistakes are magnified when you don’t feel confident. I prefer an ambitious team, rather than a timid one.

If there is one thing I believe in, it is that skills are acquired over time, but not necessarily a state of mind. And the team has a real good spirit. For me this is the main thing.”

What are the specificities or particularities of the service?

C.F : “The specificity is that communication is a nerve center of an organization. One must always be aware of what others are doing, anticipate needs and respond.

Apart from that, we function like everyone else, in joy and good humor.”

What qualities and skills are required?

C.F : “Everyone has their own skills, which is what allows a certain complementarity. But if we talk globally, I think that the two greatest qualities to work in this sector are adaptability and relational skills. In other words, you have to adapt to all changes, with a smile.”

THE worst flaw for working in this department?

C.F : “Clearly being individualistic. Communication is above all knowing how to feed off others, exchanging and developing ideas as a group. If we are not interested in others, we will be limited in our field of action. And this is not the goal.”

THE situation to avoid on the day of the event?

C.F : “If we have worked well all year, we will be able to manage the D-day.

The most important thing is to let go and accept that there will be things that don’t go as planned. And this is perhaps the most difficult part. When you’ve spent more than a year working on a subject, you’d like everything to turn out the way you imagined it. Unfortunately this will only happen very rarely. So let’s take a step back, do the best we can and most of all ENJOY this wonderful event.”