Tag Archives: Olympics

Social media diary 16/1/2009 – London 2012

Image via Wikipedia

London announces social media strategy for 2012 Olympic Games

This week came the first announcements of the social media strategy that will accompany London’s 2012 Olympic Games. The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) will work with the sponsors of the Games to launch a social media campaign in the run-up to the games in three years time as part of it’s campaign to get younger people to get involved in both the Games and sport more generally. They are currently negotiating the involvement of the various official sponsors, and Adidas will be the first to launch a project as part of the campaign. Their involvement will include what is called an “online sports activation project”, a set of online social media activities, and presence in social networks, that will sit alongside a campaign offering free gyms to London schools and communities. According to Alex Balfour, head of new media at LOCOG:

“The main driver for it will be around social values. It will be focused less on the people who are already active in sport or aspire to be lead sports people and more on those who have some interest but don’t see the social rewards in it.”

So what can we learn from this?

The announcements to date seem to be focusing on ways to engage younger audiences, through online communities and social networks. They appear to be building social media elements into their broader projects to encourage mass participation in sport and hope that this will help their drive to get young people involved. This is undoubtedly a laudable effort. It is great to use the focus that the Olympic games provide to encourage and promote sport; and especially to motivate younger people to get involved. Social media undoubtedly has a significant role to play in any activities like this and I look forward to what I hope are well-planned and well-executed activities online. The Olympics is a big deal, and it deserves great and innovative use of social media. Of course, I really hope that London 2012′s social media strategy goes much further than what we have seen announced so far. Whilst it is great to try to engage young people in this way, I hope they will try to engage the rest of us too! As we wrote earlier this year, the Olympics should be the perfect social media event. As we wrote at the time:

…if there were ever a perfect candidate for coverage in social networks, online communities and social media, then the Olympics surely must be it.

From my experience with clients, the aspects that are common in successful online communities typically include:

  1. A shared or common interest or goal
  2. The subject may be broad but allows interest groups to form
  3. A subject people are or can be passionate about
  4. Enthusiasts and leaders who will help to shape the community
  5. An experience that is or can be inherently social, that people want to share with others
  6. A subject that can create strong opinions and passionate views
  7. Regularly changing and updated content
  8. Media and varying content types so different people can interact in different ways
  9. You can be more interested in the issues as you are in the people you are discussing them with
  10. An ability for the online experience to be supplemented with offline experience

A full social media strategy should look at ways to engage and involve people before, during and after the Olympic games. If Beijing this year was the first time people have been able to use social media to report on events, London in three years’ time should be the first games to fully integrate social media into the Olympic experience. That’s why I’m looking forward to watching LOCOG’s social media strategy develop and to more elements of it being revealed. By 2012, social media will use tools we don’t even have yet in ways we can’t imagine. I hope London is ready to make the most of them.From the FreshNetworks Blog
Read all our Social Media Diary entries
Subscribe to updates from the FreshNetworks Blog

A Gold Medal for FUN

This is posted on behalf of JoAnna Brandi. It is co-posted on the Customers 1st Blog and JoAnna Brandi blogs.

It all started as a crazy idea. From an intern nonetheless. While the ‘real’ Olympics were taking place in China the folks over at the Midwest ISO were having an Olympics all their own. The intern – Brooke Rodda – thought it would be great fun to come up with some challenges for interdepartmental games, and it was easy to think how that might just be good for morale. Deb Lang, Director of Training, liked the idea and built on it. Deb’s big on teamwork and fun so the idea instantly appealed to her. As fate would have it, the Friday before a box of ‘BeanBoozled’ had landed on her desk and she saw immediate application. (For the uninformed like me – it’s a box of BeanBoozled jelly beans – 10 colors of beans and 20 flavors – every color has one tasty flavor, and a disgusting flavor – the idea is that you never know whether you are about to get a good one or a bad one. This, apparently, makes it ideal for party games.) This instantly started Brooke’s mind going in the direction of whacky games ‘ one having to do with blindfold bowling another with condiment painting (held in the cafeteria at lunchtime of course.) Before long she and her team of equally creative thinkers had planned the games and word rapidly spread throughout the company grapevine and more people came on board. ‘We want to be involved too,’ was the most common sentiment heard. Energy and excitement were building. By the time the day for the Olympics arrived representatives from several divisions withing the company were on board, with more joining in to coach from the sidelines as word continued to spread. The Olympics occurred mostly in 15 minute increments so not to take too much away from the work days. These short burst of activity really energized people throughout the five day competition.

I just happen to call on the last day and got a ‘blow by blow’ on the final minutes of the events. I sat laughing in my parked car while a thunderstorm threatened right behind me. I had to make sure my car was not moving because I laughing much too hard to be driving. Since I wanted to find out the results, I called back the next week and got the scoop. ‘So what did you get out of it’? I asked.’Besides fun? Team participation, increased communication between departments, memorable common experiences, innovation, engagement.’ ‘I gather then, this is only the first of your Olympics,’ I asked.

‘Yep, the first Annual.’ A tradition is born. All because a company was open enough to listen to a suggestion of a young intern ‘ a crazy suggestion at that. Gary Hamel, oft called the world’s greatest strategist, says that we need to find ways in companies to create thousands of crazy ideas, and out of the thousands we’ll distill them down to hundreds of not-so-crazy ideas, and out of them perhaps 10 or so viable ideas and out of the one or two really really great ideas that will fundamentally change the nature of our business and give us a competitive edge. Congratulations Midwest ISO, you’ve got a great start.

If you’d like to see more of Joanna Brandi’s blogs, visit JoAnna Brandi’s Blogs. You can also find out more by visiting her Customer Care Coach website. Joanna Brandi will be a keynote speaker at this year’s North American Conference on Customer Management, and has already been profiled on our Customer 1st blog. Stay tuned for her posts on the Customers 1st blog!

MobileVerbs gets live feedback for NBC Olympics webpage

MobileVerbs was able to develop a plan for NBC to obtain feedback from mobile users surfing their Olympics site, according to this press release at PR Web. Visitors simply click on the banner link that then leads them to the surveys on their mobile phones. Mobile Verbs modeled the web page after the Olympics web page, and the responses obtained from this venture have exceeded expectations. MobileVerbs has been able to target a specific segment of the market with this campaign management tool.