Monday, July 12, 2010

Behind-the-Scenes at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics: NBC and Cisco Team Up to Show the Power of Collaboration and Social Media

Recently I had the pleasure of working with Zoya Fallah, Social Media Marketing Manager at Cisco, on a case study that shows the partnership between NBC and Cisco at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

Zoya, the one-person powerhouse behind Cisco's social media engagement for the Games, shared two pieces of good advice when I interviewed her. "COLLABORATION is key. SOCIAL is key. You cannot do one without the other. The more social channels that you can leverage, the better reach you will have. I truly believe that companies will benefit by understanding the importance of leveraging internal social media channels and other companies’ social media channels", she said.

Then she went on to explain how the collaboration between the 2 companies was born and what it entailed.

What were the key components of your event strategy?
We wanted to share behind-the-scenes footage from fans, journalists, and athletes with the public so that they could have an opportunity to experience the games virtually and to really get to know the athletes on a more personal level. The public wants “real” footage and not highly produced footage anymore. NBC distributing Flip cameras to US athletes, journalists, etc. created a perfect opportunity to obtain user-generated content while reducing that production time and cost.

What were the challenges you were trying to solve?
We wanted to extend the reach of the 2010 Winter Games beyond as well as help speed up the delivery of online video content while reducing production cost.

Focusing on the social media aspects, what did you do to promote the Winter Games and what worked or didn’t work?
Cisco and NBC collaborated and leveraged each other’s social media channels. NBC displayed a Twitter Tracker on to share these tweets with the public. The Flip footage was distributed via social channels with direct links. Without the use of NBC and Cisco social media promotions, the public would have to search for Flip footage on

Did you have any big surprises, or a-ha moments? If so, what were those?
Besides all of the amazing footage that we received from athletes, Brad Blanks captured Queen Latifah via Flip at the Games. It was very exciting to live the Games online and really be able to get to know the athletes personally.

If you'd like to learn more about this program or find out the 7 things we would do differently next time, take a look at this SlideShare presentation.

Congrats to Zoya and her counterparts at NBC on a social media program well done!

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