900 visits from Russia. Anyone interested in discussing the Putin-Litvinenko case from a public relations perspective?

Day-to-day business will inevitably continue as usual, but a true partnership requires something else: (it requires) reputation, credibility and an ability to generate trust which X has dissolvedMore...
This quote is from an editorial in today’s first page of the Corriere della Sera, authored by politologist Angelo Panebianco.
The X is obviously referred to Vladimir Putin, following the Litvinenko case…. but the same concept could be applied to any other individual, company, government or  ngo.
Is this not, after all, – reputation, credibility and an ability to generate trust- one of the core substances of effective public relations?
Ironically, if you go to the Lexis-Nexis media data bank and digit ‘public relations’ for last week you will find an interesting Agence France Presse November 22 report All Rights Reserved.doc in which an anonymous ‘london-based’ public relations expert together with other commentators gives a different, more cautious view of this ‘tragic event’ (as Putin put it yesterday in a Helsinki press conference).

I seem to remember that the Kremlin some months ago had employed one of the top global pr agencies to help out in organizing the G8 Moscow meeting and reinforce Mr. Putin’s reputation.

I wonder if they are still under contract and, if so, how they reacted to these events.
I am also well aware that there is a flourishing public relations community in Russia, with an experienced and long standing association while thousands of students are flocking public relations courses in Universities and many scholars are contributing to the development of a global professional body of knowledge. Many of my clients invest significant human and financial public relations resources in that country.

Also, in the statistics of visits to this blog I count some 900 single visits from Russia.

I would very much welcome if any of these colleagues whished to get their view across.

Any interest in a global debate amongst our small, but growing, global professional community?  

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3 Replies to “900 visits from Russia. Anyone interested in discussing the Putin-Litvinenko case from a public relations perspective?

  1. There was a story I glanced at in some nwspaper last week quoting someone saying that the Russians would not have done anything criminal because it would affect their image.

    And then someone else commented that it’s image is awful anyway, so what could make it worse.

    I tend to agree with the second commentator. In Canada, we are now seeing stories about the inadvisability of getting into investments in Russia, because of the difficulty in ensuring that the rule of law, contracts, honest payments, etc. take place.

  2. I guess that nobody wishes to tackle the event from a pr perspective. Maybe it would help if I offered my own view: I do not think any organization can manage, or even govern reputation (admitting that the two terms mean different things…and here I refer to the recent back-and-forth between ursula stroh and peter walker on the meaning of the term management in a post dedicated to communication for development…).
    If reputation is, as most of its advocates preach, the combination of an organization’s behaviour and its communication, plus any other non foreseeable event which either reinforces or damages its perceived identity, one can take a hell of a lot of actions but can hardly ‘manage’it. To the contrary an organization should strive to manage what it can manage and not want it cannot. Relationships are more manageable than reputation if not for other reasons because they can be continuosly monitored in its dynamics and at least in part influenced by the organizations relationship activities with its stakeholders. Having said this, it is very clear, that mr. Putin has very little respect for an effective managing of relationships (i.e. two way and tendetilly symmetric) but is very interested in improving his reputation.
    And this is probably why he employed a pr agency for the recent g8 and forgot to talk to his agency when the Litvinenko case broke….
    any comments?

  3. As I looked at pictures in the Toronto paper today, I felt sorry for th sushi restaurant and the bar where radiation has been found.

    As assinations go, and assuming it was an assination, it seemed pretty clumsy to me.

    Or maybe not.

    Lots of assinations are handled so no-one really knows there was a murder. Others are handled so everyone is warned.

    Once upon a time I was in thehospital with similiar symptons, and doctors with no clue what was wrong. As they tried to fix me — obviously they succeeded — I don’t believe they considered radiation poisoning as a means to assasination.

    Whether it affects international relations… we need to compare with China. In both Canada andthe USA, there are movements tolimit international trade with China, so maybe we’ll see the same thing with Russia.

    But I’m betting the lure of profits will overpower blockades based on anti-assination fever.


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