A PR contest?
Reading the political commentaries in the daily newspapers – on speculation in government and party circles, and about meetings to discuss policy and draft programs – you will notice that the terms that recur with the greatest frequency in most articles are «communications,» «profile,» «image» and «impressions.» The ruling PASOK party is worried because the benefits the government recently promised to the needier social groups are hurting the «reformist image» of Prime Minister Costas Simitis. Indeed, the ruling party’s so-called communications committee has been preoccupied with the need to draft a «new form of political PR» because, despite the implementation of these new measures, the ruling party is «losing its ability to make an impression.» And image consultants are assessing how PASOK can better exploit Simitis’s profile – considered to be the party’s most effective PR weapon. Meanwhile, at opposition New Democracy’s headquarters, communications specialists are planning how they will attack the weak spots in the government’s PR strategy, how they can weaken the prime minister’s illustrious PR profile and what their party’s official stance should be opposite the government’s new measures. They are doing all this in order not to give the electorate the impression that their profile is harsh and non-populist.