Spoiler alert: Traditional and social media collide in the 2012 London Olympics

By Posted in - Media Relations & Social Media & Special Events on July 31st, 2012 0 Comments

The 2012 London Olympics is by far the most social in the history of the games. Let’s be honest, most of us didn’t take to our Twitter feeds during the 2008 Olympics. But this year, it’s a whole new game (pun intended).

As a collective, Americans are suckers for instant gratification and definitely don’t like to be left out of the loop. So when NBC decided to delay the television broadcast of the opening ceremony and each competition by three hours (practically an eternity in social media time), many Americans learned about the events and medal winnings through spoilers on social media.

As a recent article by Mashable suggests, NBC tried to control the flow of content and information by serving as the middleman between the event and American viewers, but in this case social and traditional media have collided. The network overlooked the fact that the Olympic audience would be tweeting, photographing and posting live video from the event. American viewers are not only impatiently waiting to see the competitions, but the results are being spoiled. The result is a PR blunder and the trending #NBCfail hashtag and @NBCDelayed parody account on Twitter.

PR professionals: what suggestions would you give to NBC to make the showing of the London Olympics more social? How would you integrate traditional and social media coverage to engage the American audience?

 

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