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Story-telling at the London 2012 Olympic Games

Alex Balfour, Head of New Media, London 2012, is talking about how his organisation is preparing to use social media in the run-up to the London Olympics.

14:40: London 2012’s digital mission is to create products and services that:

1. Help the business meet its objectives efficiently and cost effectively
2. Aspire to be best in class
3. Are engaging
4. Are robust
5. Fully exploit potential of social and mobile media; aim to generate positive cash flow.

What we do online? Generic communications platforms including, a ‘virtual agent’ tool and three official “channels” (YouTube, Facebook and Twitter). Email is still the most important and responsive digital tool, but social becoming more critical.

Our major learning from Vancouver Games is that social media has to be fun. People use social media in their procrastination time, down time and fun time.

A lot of the stuff we do now is effectively team-building.
291m visits (Beijing 2008: 105m)
83m unique visitors (Beijing: 70m; Yahoo 32m; NBC 20m)
50% of all Canadians visited

14:55: My London 2012: a digital platform that will help deliver our promise to connect young people to sport and the values that Olympic an dParalympic sport represent by givein a voice to the inspiring stories that represent those values helping people share those stories with each other.

There will be 15,000 athletes at the games; 15% get a medal; 5% will be the estimated number of athletes with a medal who make a career out of having won that medal. The Olympics very different from the (football) World Cup in that the athletes don’t necessarily have a professional career to go to after the Games. Many of athletes have an amazing story behind them and if we can just tell some of those amazing stories, it would be fantastic. [True: this is one great way of harnessing the power of social media – not sure quite how they’re going to do it on My London2012 but will check it out]

15:03: We have 28 key performance indicators, including: key moments and highlights, engagement, reach, revenue and Tweetdeck (monitoring buzz).

15:10: Tea time – come back for more liveblogging after the break!

3 replies on “Story-telling at the London 2012 Olympic Games”

Story-telling at the London 2012 Olympic Games
Once upon a time a bunch of inflated egos wasted in excess of £9bn of public money hosting the Olympics. They destroyed a much loved area of London and failed to meet any of their targets. The End

Hi Stuart.

I liked your comment even before I realised it was you ;)

This was a live blog, so I was just reporting what Alex Balfour said. Personally, I’m undecided on the Olympics.

I worked for NBC during Barcelona’92 Games so saw how much anticipation and pleasure the Games can bring and witnessed the transformative effect they can have on a city. Like London 2012, those Games came at a time when the host country (Spain) was struggling to come out of recession, and thousands of jobs were created, which was great for then.

The longer term benefit was unclear – Barcelona experienced a massive communal hangover in the months after the games – a lot of people lost their jobs literally overnight, and there was a great deal of clearing up to do (physically and metaphorically).

There was a great deal of re-development. Not all of it good. In fact, I preferred the Barcelona pre-games, with it’s dinky chiringuitos (bars) on the (then gravelly) beach and no horrible Mar i Magnum (shop-bar complex) in the harbour.

But as for the London Games, I know my daughter and nephews and nieces will *so* love the excitement, as will all the other kids in town, I have to be pro (because it would be bloody depressing otherwise!)

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