2 April 2014

How I Followed The Olympics — A Media Analyst Shares Her Virtual Experience

By Zoya Zagryazhskaya and the Moscow Media Monitoring Team, PBN H+K

It’s great being a professional news and social media analyst. It means I can have a conversation with anyone on just about any current topic. My job broadens my horizons everyday. Requests from clients and colleagues make me dig deep into a broad range of topics. A true media analyst can talk about anything from the latest mobile phone to the most recent developments in the Arctic.
How I Followed The Olympics — A Media Analyst Shares Her Virtual Experience

These days I can talk like a real fan about sports, Russian and international athletes and training camps, even though I never got particularly involved in sport when I was young. My secret is that between January and March, the PBN H+K analyst team prepared twice daily reports on the main events and stories at the Olympics and Paralympics for our company’s clients.


The Olympics are a time when you fall in love with your profession again because the topics clients are asking you to follow in the media are truly interesting to you, yourself.


Our clients’ requests that we analyze sport and sport-related news from the Sochi Games made us read Olympic news more carefully and we had to remain objective, despite the broad range of opinions expressed by experts and amateur observers alike.


If it weren’t for my work, I probably would have only known about the biggest victories and best results. But in this case, I had to read between the lines, comparing opinions and looking at the coverage landscape from Vedomosti to Vkontakte and Sports.ru as well as the international media.


Of course, it’s not always nice to read about scandals, which, at the Sochi Olympics, were particularly widely covered in the foreign media, but that’s part of the job and we always have to remain unbiased in our reports.


At the request of our clients, we tracked and analyzed articles about athletes, brand advocates, the Olympic facilities and public opinion – all of it very closely. I can say that following individual athletes is very entertaining and fun. You don’t just find out the results; it’s like you’re involved in the actual sport and their lives. You suddenly understand how amazed and awestruck journalists and fans are with so many “Olympic stories” and you get caught up in the excitement.


On the other hand, writing every day about the Olympics wasn’t easy. Events happened quickly and the number of articles and opinions skyrocketed every day. In total, during the period of the Games, there were many thousands of articles in the Russian media about Sochi 2014. We had to work a lot and very carefully pick and show our clients the most important news — analyzing and putting that news in context.


I followed Olympic news from Moscow, thousands of kilometers away from the mountain cluster and the Fisht stadium. I don’t know whether I would have liked to be there at the Games in Sochi or not. But I definitely know that reading, writing, thinking about and celebrating the Olympics was truly a great experience for me and my colleagues. On the one hand we know we are helping our clients and on the other we’re happy and lucky to be working with something that’s genuinely interesting for us.  Yes, I am a professional media analyst.  But now, I am also a super and well informed sports fan.