The London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (LOCOG) last week released their social media guidelines for their 70,000 volunteers, in which they ban individuals from posting pictures or release details of athletes, VIPs and dignitaries in backstage areas at this summer’s 2012 Olympic games.
In the hope of keeping a tight-lid on the London 2012 brand and messaging organisers have made the outrageous statement that social media will be managed by its communication team. Such level of control is going to be nearly impossible given the number of individuals that will be operating behind the scenes.
A large majority of news outlets already use social media channels as a source that adds value and content to unfolding stories, so rather than control the possible behind the scene messages, why didn’t the communications team look to embrace these channels and empower volunteers add an extra layer of information? It begs the question, will volunteers have to hand in the mobiles before each day that they work, sorry, volunteer for free?
Surely empowering volunteers as behind the scenes crews would act as a way to bring the spirit of the Olympics closer to the people. Those athletes, celebrities and dignitaries that are caught in a scandal would only have themselves to blame.
As several other bloggers point out, the call by LOCOG goes against the International Olympic Committe’s (IOC) own guidelines and recommendation.
We await and see how this develops.