Athens 2004 communications message one of readiness

ATHENS: Athens 2004, the organizing committee for the 2004 Summer Olympics, said it wants to communicate to a nervous world that its ready for the Games in mid-August, despite concerns about terrorism and a lack of infrastructure.

ATHENS: Athens 2004, the organizing committee for the 2004 Summer Olympics, said it wants to communicate to a nervous world that its ready for the Games in mid-August, despite concerns about terrorism and a lack of infrastructure.

"Our most important tool is successful actions that generate positive coverage," Stathatou Evi, an associate on the Athens 2004 Media Desk, told PRWeek in an email.

Athens 2004 is handling all its communications in-house, Evi said. The committee uses outside PR firms on a project-by-project basis, Evi said, such as for the Olympic Torch Relay. She did not disclose those outside firms or if any of those firms were US-based.

More than 50 people handle communications for Athens 2004, she said, and they are shouldering an Olympian load.

Bombs exploded in suburbs of the Greek capital in April, re-igniting concern that the Games may be a magnet for terrorists. More than 41,000 security personnel are expected to be in place by August 13, the first day of the Games, according to the Athens 2004 web site. The security budget for the Games is $1.2 billion, six times the budget for the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia.

Both President Bush and Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis expressed, in May, their confidence that the Games would be safe.

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