Silly linking policy another PR flop for Athens 2004

The people who dreamed up the Athens 2004 linking policy have become the laughing stock of the entire internet, to the extent that the topic is no 3 at Daypop’s Top 40 list of the most popular (or in this case ridiculed) topics on the net.

As an example: In order to place a link embedded in copy interested parties should:

a) Use the term ATHENS 2004 only, and no other term as the text referent

b) Not associate the link with any image, esp. the ATHENS 2004 Emblem (see paragraph below)

c) Send a request letter to the Internet Department stating:

-Short description of site

-Reason for linking

-Unique URL containing the link (if no unique URL than just the main URL)

-Publishing period

Contact point (e-mail address)

The control/command attitude of the Olympic organization does not work in a blog-enabled world and the whole idea of controlling how people link to your site is just counterproductive and bad PR. Rick E. Bruner summarizes:

Apparently the folks behind Athens 2004, the offical site for the current Olympics, still use AOL or have only read about the Internet in airline magazines.

Olympic PR disaster as bombs hit Athens

The Olympics is already a PR disaster, the Guardian wrote this week (via PR Fuel). Athens is still being a construction site and the negative headlines in media have been frequent. Today there is a long article about the chaos in Athens in Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter. The Greek themselves do not seem worried that they will not be finished on opening day, saying that “we are last minute people”.

Adding insult to injury, Olympic legend Mark Spitz, claimed the other day that the security in Greece may be inadequate to cope with the threat of terrorist attacks. And he didn’t have to wait long for those words to come true. Today, with only 100 days to go, Athens was hit by three bombs this morning. If the Greek cannot convince the Americans they have the situation under control, in spite of having four times the security costs of the Sydney games, they have threatend to pull out of the games, which would be a real PR defeat for Greece and the Olympics.