A few BayBrazilians will be part of Rio Olympics, both as staff or fans who plan to attend the Games. Our very own Adriana Garcia, journalist and co-founder of Orbital Midia, is the Rio 2016 Director of Communications. In our interview, she talks about the concerns around Zica virus, the tech innovations available to sports fans and predicts that Rio 2016 will be “the social media Games”.
BayBrazil: What will be your main responsibilities in the Rio Olympics?
Adriana: I am in charge of everything regarding Communications, except Media Relations. That means I oversee all of our digital production for the website, social media, advertising, research and print publications.
BayBrazil: What are some of the tech innovations sports fans will have access to that they didn’t in the London Olympics?
Adriana: All our digital properties will be designed for mobile audiences. Our app, to be launched in May, with the Torch Relay, will receive an full update when the Games start in August and will be available in Portuguese, English, Spanish, French and the big novelty is Mandarin. We are very happy to tackle the Chinese Market with Samsung, who is developing the app for us. We will have real time results in our app, plus the full Games schedule. The whole coverage will be very focused on social media and crowdsourcing. Offering the sense of live and behind the scenes coverage is the approach we will use to complement traditional media coverage. On the website front, we are working on a cool project with Google, Bing and Apple to offer the best maps ever produced for Olympic Games. People will have the sensation they are navigating inside the Arenas. Another cool project we are just starting involves Virtual Reality, but I can’t give much detail at this point…yet. We will also use streaming a lot during the Torch Relay while it travels around Brazil.
BayBrazil: The Games are expected to generate massive traffic in the internet. How social media will influence Rio 2016 compared with past Games?
Adriana: Social Media is where the conversation happens and we are already there. We work very closely in collaboration with the platforms to give the best content that people love and can interact with about the Games. We expect the number of people around our properties to more than double until the end of the Games, reaching 8 million people. We know for sure that Rio 2016 will be the mobile, with 85% of the audience coming through smartphones and tablets, and it will be the social media Games, much more than London. Having said that, most of the traffic we get, around 60% comes from SEO activity, and other 25% from direct search.
BayBrazil: Despite the Zika virus, Carnival went on across all Brazilian states. Will concerns around the virus impact the Games?
Adriana: Of course we are worried about the virus itself and how it can affect people, especially pregnant women. But we also know there is very little information about the virus, so we are following OMS guidelines. What we know is that August is the dry season and there are very few mosquitos. We will provide athletes with repellent and we are taking all the measures to keep the Arenas mosquito-free.
BayBrazil: You’ve been working as a journalist for many years both in Brazil and the U.S. The newspaper industry has been hit hard with declining ad revenues across the world. How are major newspapers in Latin America dealing with their industry’s digital transformation?
Adriana: They are trying to adapt, but not fast enough. The problem is that digital revenues still don’t compensate what print ads can bring to the table. The way digital advertising was designed is a broken model. It doesn’t take in consideration the value of journalistic brands, so it is still the business of audience, not the business of attention or relevance. Many players, including a few in Silicon Valley, are trying to fix that, but it will take time.
BayBrazil: What is your vision on the Brazilian press coverage of the Petrobras corruption scandal? Is the Brazilian society well-informed?
Adriana: I think Brazil has a strong press. Many of the things we are learning now about corruption in Petrobras, as many other scandals of the past (including the one that lead to the impeachment of a president), could just happen because we have a free and strong press in this country.
BayBrazil: A report published on Feb 3rd 2016 by the International Federation of Journalists reveals that over 2,000 journalists were killed worldwide in the past 25 years. What can be done for journalism to be a safer profession?
Adriana: Supporting Journalism means finding sustainable business models for the newspapers to keep doing what they do, and supporting the upcoming digital jornopreneurs, as well as non-profit journalistic ventures, to thrive. That will help democracy, and we hope that strong democracies protect the free press.
BayBrazil: What is OrbitalLab? What happens when journalism & entrepreneurship intersect?
Adriana: OrbitalLab is project to help journalists, specially the ones who want to become jornopreneurs, to learn how to structure digital projects using Design Thinking in a way that they can become sustainable business models. We use rapid prototyping techniques and bring Silicon Valley methods to the newsrooms, so they can use them to test ideas and learn with need-finding methods that could become informational products and services people will love and hopefully pay for.