An Olympics First? Social Media Transforms Upcoming Games In London

At the beginning of May, around 100 PR and communications professionals attended the Business Wire London media breakfast on how the Olympics affect the media landscape. On the panel were Andy Rice – Managing Director of PA Sport Commercial; Matt Ball – Editor-in-Chief of MSN UK; Duncan Hooper – UK News and Sport Managing Director at MSN; and Darren Waters – head of Devices and Social Media, MSN-UK / ex-BBC journalist. The panel was led by Phil Szomszor – Director of Citigate Dewe Rogerson. A short video can be viewed below.

So, what has changed?

London 2012 is often heralded as the first truly social Olympics since Beijing four years ago. It’s how consumers will engage with the Olympics and its content that will distinguish these games. Media organisations across the world have been facing the same challenge of how to satisfy consumers’ insatiable appetite for real-time content. Research by Ofcom (The independent regulator and competition authority for the UK communications industries) reports that 40% of consumers increasingly turn to social media for breaking news, but at the same time 1 in 4 doesn’t trust this information. This presents an opportunity for mainstream organisations such as PA and MSN to move away from the traditional model of just publishing news to developing tools and methods which will visualise, broadcast, filter, aggregate and validate the content for their audiences.

So, how did this all come about? Sheer growth of social media and smartphones have largely contributed to this change of how news is consumed. To put into perspective: Four years ago, Facebook became the largest social media network with 135 million users. Today, this number has exploded to a whopping 900 million.

Read the whole story: Businesswired