Beyond re-branding: A press conference to be remembered

On June 13th the Greek Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis gave a cinematic speech on the cliffs of the volcanic island Santorini with a magical sunset as a backdrop. 

It was an idyllic way to manifest Greece’s success in managing the crisis of  Phase-1 Covid-19 pandemic. As of the day of writing this article, Greece had a total of 3.390 confirmed coronavirus cases,  with 1.374 patients recovered and only 191 deaths. The Santorini background was also the best way to invite the world for its tourist escape back in Greece. Tourism generates 15% of the Greek GDP and is a fundamental driver to restart the development of the very frail Greek economy.   

The success behind the press conference is undisputed and very impressive. It has been testified by the hundreds of positive media reports that were published all around the world. The state news agency of China “Xinhua” which stated that “Health safety is top priority for Greece as tourism season starts” whereas “France24” emphasized on a quote from Kyriakos Mitsotakis that “Greek tourism is back” while Bloomberg offered a special 30’ interview of Prime Minister Mitsotakis, hosted by Michael Bloomberg himself. Last but not least, the BBC featured an in depth analysis for Santorini titled: “Island isolation over as Greece lets tourists back

From a communications perspective, the Santorini press conference was a masterclass of political marketing. In our view, this initiative proved much more ambitious than that.

The Prime Minister’s  Santorini staging aimed beyond convincing tourists to visit Greece. It aimed and succeeded in illustrating what ‘new’ Greece is all about: Young and creative in spirit, able to act responsibly and deliver results, always using the sense of proportion, a human balanced approach. 

These seem to be the components of Greece’s new brand. The Greek government’s resilience and overall performance, and time of course,  will tell whether this is going to prove a deep-rooted and solid new brand or an ephemeral re-branding.

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