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The most visible of their efforts are the hundreds of colourful banners and buntings that have been hoisted onto lampposts, or hung over the sides of railings and buildings to generate a festive Olympic mood in Hong Kong.

The artistic skills and talent of ISD designers have also been put to work on postcards, advertisements, souvenir bags, and even life-sized cutouts of the five Fuwa characters to provide photo opportunities for visitors and locals during the Olympic Games time.

Information Officers in headquarters and departmental units have been working hard to devise publicity projects promoting the Olympic spirit, as well as boost knowledge and understanding of the Events, and encourage people to seize the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to attend an Olympic event on home turf.

This has included special radio and television programmes, newspaper supplements, media briefings and workshops, and a range of radio promotions on the Olympics and Torch Relay.

A promotional video has been produced, and will be screened on Cathay Pacific and Dragonair flights, as well as at events and functions organised by the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Offices (HKETOs) on the Mainland and overseas.

Various versions of the video feature the Chief Secretary for Administration (CS), Henry Tang Ying-yen, speaking not one but eight languages to extend the hand of friendship to audiences on the Mainland and abroad. (And, in case you were wondering, our multi-lingual CS managed greetings in English, Cantonese, Putonghua, Japanese, Korean, Spanish, German and French!)

Internationally and on the Mainland, ISD has worked closely with HKETOs and the Office of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in Beijing to leverage the Olympic events to boost publicity on Hong Kong as “Asia’s world city”.

This has included roving exhibitions, lunches and seminars, media briefings and Hong Kong promotions at major equestrian events in the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia and Japan.

ISD also arranged three very successful pre-Games visits to Hong Kong for international equestrian media—— an Olympic first —— to provide them with a first-hand look at Hong Kong’s preparations and world-class equestrian facilities.

In the run-up to the Games, ISD will continue to ramp up publicity locally to generate excitement in the city and concentrate on making sure that visiting journalists feel at home in the City Media Centre to be set up at Hong Kong City Hall.

All the while, ISD will continue to render the usual prompt and efficient services to Hong Kong’s dynamic local media scene, as well as its sizeable international media corps.

And of course, during the Games time, ISD staff will be on call 24 hours a day to deal with the expected increase in enquiries from the local media, as well as visiting journalists from around the world covering the Olympics and Equestrian Events.