The anticipation and excitement surrounding the Olympics has reached new heights with the games now only a year away. However, how do you engage with such a large audience on such a large scale? At Beijing we saw live streaming going head-to-head, Silverlight and NBC vs. Adobe Flash and CCTV (China), which enabled the interactive viewing of different events online, (in 2012 there will be up to 12 sports taking place simultaneously). In addition to mobile coverage also becoming comprehensive in Beijing, leading brands used social media in their Olympics campaigns, anyone remember McDonald’s ‘The Lost Ring’ or Coca-Cola’s ‘Design the World a Coke’? In 2008, the Olympics became an on-demand, 24/7 experience whilst being one of the first testaments to the sheer engaging power of social media in brand building. So what may we see from the Olympic brand a year from now? There is the opportunity to utilize Twitter as a channel to connect vs. a channel to push content, the interactivity and conversations that stem from Twitter’s two-way relationship can increase the Olympic ‘buzz’ significantly. In Vancouver, a verified Olympian list worked well and the I.O.C. took its first steps into the world of Facebook. [Check out this video for an insight into how the Olympics, social media and Vancouver came together]. The Olympic brand speaks directly to collaboration and community building, two of social media’s best and brightest. The I.O.C. should be THE content aggregator that takes their best content and that from other committee organizations, as well as media outlets worldwide, and act as a town-centre for Olympic related content, with Olympians as the town criers. Give or take Phillips Idowu or Charles Van Commenee. Away from the Olympic brand, the BBC will certainly be putting social media centre stage. It has been said that “the Olympics will do for digital media what the Coronation did for television.” As host nation broadcaster is there an opportunity to embrace social TV commentary? For this we must wait and see, but there is no doubt that if there ever was a perfect candidate for social media coverage, then the Olympics surely must be it. Plans are afoot for a CIPR Social Summer session featuring the BBC, sport and the Olympics in September. In addition, for PRs, one of the many challenges will be getting valuable content in front of journalists during the Olympics and legislation governing PR activities relating to London 2012 and the Olympic brands – this will be the topic for the 3 August edition of CIPR TV.