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Inside the Olympic Media Centre

Posted by Juliet Philip on 31st July 2012

Juliet at Eaton Dorney

Our very own EML Wildfire Account Manager, Juliet, is one of a select few working in the Olympics Media Centre at London 2012. Here she explains how she got to be a part of the events at rowing centre Dorney, and what the job involves.

My campaign to ‘appear’ at the London 2012 Olympic Games started back in November 2004 when I signed up to give voluntary media and marketing assistance at the Rowing World Cup, to be held in May 2005, at the almost complete Eton College Rowing Course at Dorney. This would be the only event held at a proposed Olympic venue before the big decision in Singapore that July. No pressure then!

The IOC was swarming over the place but they clearly liked what they saw as they went on to select London as the host city for the Olympics 2012.

Fast forward seven years (having volunteered again on the media team for the World Rowing Championships in 2007 and the World Juniors/Test Event in 2011 at the same venue) and I find myself once again at the front desk of the Media Centre doing the meet and greet for media from around the globe.

Only this time, it’s the real thing.

The London 2012 Olympic Games are here and I have fulfilled a long held ambition to be part of this amazing sporting spectacle. I am doing a job I love, for a sport I have been involved with for years.

As this blog goes out in our EML Wildfire newsletter, I will be in the middle of my fourth shift (the majority of which start at 7:30am, which means getting up around 5am). I will have completed four training sessions and will be wearing the ‘purple and poppy’ Games Maker uniform. I have 11 shifts over 18 days covering both the rowing and canoeing events plus another four at the Paralympics.

What will I do all day?

I am one of a team of six that are the first ‘face’ the press meet when they enter the Media Centre every day. We will be the centre of information about what is happening, help solve problems, ensuring the media get to talk to the people they want to, helping to find locker keys and, of course, making sure the coffee doesn’t run out. These are all general press event activities but, as there are 5,000+ journalists signed up to visit Dorney, it’s happening on a slightly larger scale!

I will be working alongside other media teams such as the Photo team, who supervise the official photographers and keep them away from the athletes. Another key team is based in the Mixed Zone, where athletes give ‘flash quotes’ to the press before moving on to the medal ceremonies (a tricky area as time is very tight).

Elsewhere, the Tribune team are exposed to the elements in the open media stand where the journalists have desks to report directly on the races. Finally there is the ONS team who provide a news feed direct from the venue to provide real-time updates to journalists that cant make the event itself or those that aren’t accredited.

It is going to be hard work. I am going to feel tired. Will it be worth it?

Definitely.

Juliet Philip

Juliet has been with Wildfire for over 15 years, initially writing client’s internal communications before taking on a traditional PR role. During this time she has worked with clients in the electronics / telecoms sectors alongside manufacturing and VC companies. Juliet’s strength lies in her ability to identify a story and then communicate that story to the media. She rarely takes no for an answer and her drive and dedication endear her to media and clients alike. Firm but fair, Juliet always gets the right result.