FRIDAY 9 NOV 2012 3:48 PM


Fifteen million LOCOG apps were downloaded. Royal Mail turned over each of their 63 gold medal stamps in less than 24 hours. The BBC ran 24 live streams of coverage over 2,500 hours during the Olympics.

All of these facts were shared at yesterday’s ‘Learning from the Legacy’ conference. The event, hosted by Communicate, featured the communications directors behind the London Olympics and its sponsors with a special appearance by Team GB hockey captain Kate Walsh. Internal comms teams from Olympic sponsors spoke about their internal engagement before and during London 2012. Comms leaders from the BBC, Royal Mail, the British Olympic Association (BOA) and TFL shared their Olympic stories and Walsh charmed the audience with an insider’s view of the games.

In nearly all cases, campaigns, either external, internal or social were built nearly from nothing. Nearly all pointed to successes and nearly all found the Olympics a communications opportunity that was fully capitalised on.

Alex Balfour, head of new media at LOCOG, kicked off the jam-packed morning with an overview of the massive, integrated communications campaign the committee had to build from scratch in the years before the Olympics. TFL’s Stuart Ross gave an overview of the transport network’s immensely successful ‘Get Ahead of the Games’ programme. Royal Mail’s Abby Guthkelch spoke on the 110 gold post boxes that almost weren’t.

A host of sponsors and contributors, from EDF to Grainger to Deloitte, spoke on their internal programmes to honour employees and engage staff in the Games. Coca-Cola engaged the two-thirds of its employees that are factory or sales-based in its intranet communications scheme. GSK, built up an employee engagement programme from scratch.

The day was concluded by Walsh, who fielded questions on the team’s bronze medal win, the legacy of the Olympics on future generations, her budding career in PR and the games from an athlete’s perspective.

But the key to maintaining the swell of support for Team GB and the legacy of London 2012, according to Hugh Chambers of the BOA, is to continue focusing on individual athletes and teams. The countdown to Sochi: 454 days.

To see tweets and photos from the conference, click here.