Athletes are being encouraged to share their Pyeongchang 2018 experiences on social media ©Getty Images

Athletes, staff and team officials are being encouraged to embrace social media at the Pyeongchang 2018 Paralympic Games after the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) published its digital media guidelines.

The IPC said they have relaxed rules around filming in venues, with the aim of allowing athletes to share their experiences off the field of play.

Live streaming and filming in play remains prohibited under the new guidelines.

Athletes' feedback was incorporated into the guidelines, with the IPC expressing their hope that the rules are clear to people at the venues.

"We wanted to ensure that the guidelines are as clear as possible so that all athletes understand what they can and can't do, yet still ensuring they can share their experience across their social media networks," said Chelsey Gotell, the IPC Athletes' Council chair.

"The IPC Athlete Council is keenly aware of the importance that social media plays in most athletes' lives, especially when it comes to promotion and competing at the Paralympic Games.

"Just as it is important to protect the sponsors and broadcaster rights to the Paralympic Games and the IPC, it is also vital to ensure that athletes are given realistic opportunities to share their Games experience and capitalise on the momentum that is gained throughout the Paralympic Games, when the world's eyes are on them."

For the first time, the guidelines do not apply to broadcasters and accredited media.

The IPC said rights holding broadcasters should refer to their broadcast license agreement, while accredited media will be required to follow the IPC's news access code.

Live streaming and filming in play remains prohibited under the guidelines ©Getty Images
Live streaming and filming in play remains prohibited under the guidelines ©Getty Images

National Paralympic Committees, Federations and Pyeongchang 2018 will be able to publish their own digital media guidelines.

Their guidelines will have to operate within the framework set out by the IPC.

According to the IPC, video views on their digital channels increased by 12-fold from the London 2012 to Rio 2016 Paralympics.

The reach of IPC social media posts was claimed to have had a five-fold increase.

The organisation's director of communications, Craig Spence, hopes the guidelines will enable athletes to share their experiences and also ensure broadcasters' rights are protected.

"We want to see similar leaps from what we achieved in Sochi to what we hope we can achieve on IPC channels in Pyeongchang," Spence said.

"We need the whole Paralympic Movement to get behind the Games and help us to make a real impact on social media.

"We want to enable people to create that buzz on social media, which we believe will help to drive TV audiences and raise awareness about the Paralympics.

"At the same time, the guidelines aim to protect our rights holding broadcasters and sponsors, without whose investment the Paralympic Games would not be possible."

A total of 670 athletes are set to attend the Games from March 9 to 18, with 80 medal events in six sports.

The guidelines can be found here here.