“The strategic management of the country’s image is not an option but a national necessity,” Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said in his opening address at the first meeting of the National Council for Communication Policy (SEEP), in Athens on Tuesday.
“We have the opportunity to rebuild Greece’s image and to trigger a domino of positive effects. We need to draw a comprehensive communications plan, because if we don’t manage our country’s image, someone else will,” he told the council, which comprises representatives from the government’s key ministries.
“A country’s reputation and image… have a direct effect on tourism, investments, exports as well as every other aspect of its economy and political life,” the prime minister said, adding that Greece’s image has suffered in the past few years due to the financial crisis and, more recently, the immigration crisis.
Tsipras urged the council to implement nation-branding tools that have already been successfully applied in countries such as Australia and Germany, adding that the council will also be responsible for dealing with public relations crises.
According to sources, the prime minister presented eight initiatives aimed at boosting Greece’s image: doubling spending on tourism advertising; getting the broader public sector involved in PR campaigns and actions; coordinating press offices to promote the government’s work both abroad and in Greece; organizing high-caliber events on a ministerial level and assigning eminent citizens as “ambassadors;” showcasing ministries’ achievements on a portal designed for that purpose; supporting big events and initiatives that promote the country internationally; promoting Athens and other important Greek cities as well as any major events or sites they host; and, lastly, conducting an in-depth study into public perceptions of Greece abroad and at home.