Controlling Your Event – Social Media At The Olympics

Think Olympic coverage was outrageous before? Consider the uber-popular ESPN article about sex in the Olympic Village to be the pinnacle of reality or tabloid coverage of a live event?

You ain’t seen nothing yet, as social media is finally at the forefront of our Olympic Games. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is ready with a four-page PDF rulebook governing what athletes can and can’t do regarding their social media accounts while participating in the Olympic games.

Part of me thinks this is outrageous, that dictating how people use their personal Twitter accounts is way too far. But the pragmatic side wins out, as the Olympic sponsors, media and other moneyed parties have paid the athletes’s way into the games, so they should be able to have power in the messaging emanating from the games.

But starting July 27, we’ll see how well these regulations work, and just how many athletes feel the need to flaunt the rules. Here’s why I think they’ll be just fine:

First-Person Perspective
The IOC’s rules are pretty easy to follow.

“…any such postings, blogs or tweets must be in a first-person, diary-type format and should not be in the role of a journalist – i.e. they must not report on competition or comment on the activities of other participants or accredited persons, or disclose any information which is confidential or private in relation to any other person or organisation. A tweet is regarded in this respect as a short blog and the same guidelines are in effect, again, in first-person, diary-type format.
Postings, blogs and tweets should at all times conform to the Olympic spirit and fundamental principles of Olympism as contained in the Olympic Charter, be dignified and in good taste, and not contain vulgar or obscene words or images.”

This sounds pretty fair. Seems the IOC wants the participants only to share their personal experiences and not act as trusted information sources. Bet most event planners would agree.

Don’t Sell Photographs
All Olympians can take pictures, but they can’t sell them. No argument here.

The rules state that any video or audio taken inside Olympic Venues recordings must be for personal use and not be uploaded or shared. We’re okay with this, too. While footage may leak out, it’s good to know that not EVERYTHING will be broadcast.

No Using Logos, No Promotion
Athletes aren’t allowed to use Olympic images, nor can they sign individual deals to promote companies through social media. Can you hear the cheering about not having to worry about promoted tweets from athletes during the games? I can, in my head. Hopefully the Kardashians follow these rules, too.

Christopher Craft, guest posting at Convince and Convert, had a few more points to share about Socialympics.