What an ace

11 October 2018 | Aaron Wise

Back in August, I wrote a blog post on the devastating 6.9 magnitude earthquake that took the lives of more than 300 people in Indonesia, and how Facebook dropped a clanger by filling the survivors and victims’ families’ screens with balloons and confetti, due to its ‘trigger’ feature for the word celebration.

Safe to say the balloons were quickly popped and Facebook, well, ‘faced’ a backlash. PR can become very risky when a national tragedy strikes and often, even through no fault of their own (like Facebook’s blunder), businesses and famous personalities’ PR can fly a little too close to the sun.

But this week, in light of the destructive flash floods in Majorca that have currently claimed the lives of ten people, one man’s unselfishness and defiance in the face of a catastrophe has propelled him to the forefront of feel-good PR.

Majorca native and renowned tennis star, Rafael Nadal, has been filmed and photographed assisting residents affected by the floods, by cleaning mud and debris from homes in the Sant Llorenc area of the Spanish island.

The current world number one donned wellies and gloves as he swapped his racket for a broom to help those whose lives have changed forever. Quite a powerful and emotive image!

The 17-time Grand Slam champion even opened his state-of-the-art tennis academy to the homeless to take shelter. He said on Twitter, “Sad day in Majorca. My sincere condolences to the relatives of the deceased.”

It would have been very easy for Nadal to flee the island and avoid the public eye until the floods had passed, as some high-profile celebrities might have, but, instead, Nadal threw himself into the spotlight by offering to help and shelter those affected. I personally love this type of PR; it showcases a very human approach to severe situations by people who we may consider ‘not like us’, because of their wealth and fame.

Nadal isn’t volunteering to help for recognition either, and that’s what ultimately makes this piece of PR so brilliant and inspiring. Game, set, match: Nadal.