Archive for the ‘Public relations’ Category

Russia’s Medvedev Learned PR Skills from Hitler, Chavez, Khrushchev and Putin?

November 17, 2008

One has to ask, “Where is God’s name did Russian President Dmitry Medvedev learn his public relations skills?”  Well, there are several great role models: Russia’s Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev took his shoe off to bang the table at a “diplomatic” meeting.  Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, standing at the U.N. in New York City, called President Bush “El Diablo” (the Devil).  And we all know Adolph Hitler’s diplomatic and PR track record.  But Medvedev is a protégée of whom?  Vladimir Putin, if we recollect correctly….

By Vladimir Frolov
The Moscow Times

President Dmitry Medvedev’s first state-of-the-nation address raised a lot eyebrows abroad both by its content and tone. If the objective was to make people shake their heads in bewilderment, it succeeded beyond expectations. But if the intention was to send a reassuring message to the international community, it was a stunning failure.

It is hard to understand why, after so much preparation, Medvedev’s team managed to deliver such a disastrous act of public diplomacy.

The speech was purposely delayed to Nov. 5 to give Medvedev an opportunity to send a signal to President-elect Barack Obama several hours after his election victory was announced. Medvedev’s team deliberated for some time whether Medvedev should send Obama a warm, handwritten note or an impersonal diplomatic cable. They wound up sending him a public ultimatum on missile defense. “It was an almost caricature case of the Kremlin being tone-deaf,” said one prominent Russia analyst in the United States.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev speaks at the Washington Club ... 
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev speaks at the Washington Club in Washington, November 15, 2008. Medvedev visited Washington to attend the Summit on Financial Markets and the World Economy on Saturday.REUTERS/Yuri Gripas (UNITED STATES)

If the intention was to signal the Kremlin’s willingness to re-engage the United States under the new administration, then the Iskander missile threat and the failure by Medvedev to immediately congratulate Obama directly was really dumb.

Medvedev’s clueless speech, filled with lots of U.S.-bashing, made it much more difficult for those on Obama’s team who argued that the relationship with Russia, badly bungled by the administration of President George W. Bush, needed the priority attention to be repaired.

Medvedev’s Iskander threat sounded like an attempt to publicly blackmail Obama out of missile-defense deployments in Poland and the Czech Republic. By laying down this marker, Medvedev unintentionally made it much more difficult for Obama to back down from the missile-defense deployments. To cancel the project now would be tantamount for him to buckling to Moscow’s pressure — something that U.S. presidents are not too fond of doing. Moreover, blackmailing a U.S. president-elect is not the best way to improve U.S.-Russian relations.

Russia's "Iskander" missile system on display ... 
Russia’s “Iskander” missile system on display at a military exhibition in the Siberian town of Nizhny Tagil in 2005. President Dmitry Medvedev has said Russia will place short-range missile systems on the EU’s eastern border to counter planned US missile defence installations in Eastern Europe.(AFP/VEDOMOSTI/File/Evgeny Stetsko)

Medvedev took a page right out of Soviet leader Yury Andropov’s book by threatening to place missiles on the country’s western borders. Many Russian specialists in Washington believe that Medvedev’s threats make him sound like President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad or Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

In a few months, Medvedev’s Kremlin will encounter a tightly knit and efficient Obama administration. Medvedev needs much better advice to hold his ground with Obama in public diplomacy. Right now he is clueless in Moscow.

Vladimir Frolov is president of LEFF Group, a government relations and PR company.

Related:
Russia’s Putin and the Great Deception

Advertisements

China on balancing beam ahead of Olympics

March 16, 2008
by Dan Martin

BEIJING (AFP) – The Beijing Olympics were supposed to mark China‘s debut as a modern nation that commands respect, even admiration, but instead of that dream, the country’s leaders face a PR nightmare.

In this image made from video and provided by APTN, authorities ...
In this image made from video and provided by APTN, authorities walk down an avenue, Friday, March 14, 2008, in Gansu Province, Xiahe, China. Police fired tear gas to disperse Buddhist monks and others staging a second day of protests Saturday in western China in sympathy with anti-Chinese demonstrations in Lhasa, local residents said.(AP Photo/APTN)

A crackdown on unrest in Tibet has added to mounting pressure on China over human rights and other issues that threaten to tarnish the coming-out party, pushing its Communist leaders into an uncomfortable corner, analysts said.

“This is the worst thing that could have happened for China,” China scholar Jean Philippe Beja said of deadly unrest in the Tibetan capital Lhasa that has forced an army lock down of the city.

“The Chinese and Tibetan leaders are facing a no-win situation,” said Beja, of the Centre for International Research in Paris.

With five months to go before the world’s athletes begin competing here, China’s communist government finds itself teetering on a political balance beam, observers and dissidents said.

Aside from Tibet, China is under fire for its tough rule in the Muslim-dominated Xinjiang region, for restricting press and religious freedoms, and its support of Sudan, which is blamed for the massive bloodshed in Darfur.

Read the rest:
 http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20080316/sp_wl_afp/
chinaunresttibetrightschnolypolitics_080316030233

Beijing Needs A Lesson in Public Relations

March 13, 2008

By Christian Toto
The Washington Times
March 13, 2008

China, an emerging superpower with a booming economy to match its military might, appears to need a lesson in good, old-fashioned PR as it struggles with its international image prior to hosting the Olympic Games in August.
.
The country’s latest public relations fiasco involves one of the country’s newest movie stars, Tang Wei. The actress starred in last year’s critically acclaimed “Lust, Caution” from director Ang Lee. This week, China unofficially blacklisted Miss Wei for her role in the movie as a student activist who displayed unpatriotic behavior during the Japanese occupation, according to numerous press reports.
Taiwan-born film director Ang Lee (L) escorts Chinese actress ... 
Taiwan-born film director Ang Lee (L) escorts Chinese actress Tang Wei during a Japan premiere event of their movie “Lust, Caution” in Tokyo January 24, 2008. Lee has come out in support of Tang, whose advertisements have been blacklisted in China following her steamy turn in Lee’s “Lust, Caution”. REUTERS/Yuriko Nakao
.

“I am very disappointed that Tang Wei is being hurt by this decision,” Mr. Lee said Tuesday. “We will do everything to support her in this difficult time.”

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtontimes.com/article/20080313/
FOREIGN/728042954/1001

Activists warn China’s Olympic PR woes set to deepen

February 17, 2008
By Charles Whelan

BEIJING (AFP) – China‘s public relations woes over the Olympics are just beginning, activists have warned, after a torrid stretch of headlines highlighted by Steven Spielberg ending his links to the Games.

A woman cycles past an old billboard showing the Olympic rings ...
A woman cycles past an old billboard showing the Olympic rings in Beijing February 15. China’s public relations woes over the Olympics are just beginning, activists have warned.(AFP/Peter Parks)The international leg of the torch relay during April is set to be a target for protests over the many complaints about the Chinese government, while Beijing itself will likely be a magnet for critics during the August Games.

Jill Savitt, director of Olympic Dream for Darfur, an organisation set up to pressure China into helping end the bloodshed in the western Sudanese region, told AFP protests were already being planned for the torch relay.

“We will be targeting the various stages of the torch relay for demonstrations and we plan to be in Beijing during….

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20080217/wl_asia_afp/
chinarightsdarfursudanunrestoly200
8chn_080217042841

Performers wave Olympic flags during the unveiling of the official ...
Performers wave Olympic flags during the unveiling of the official uniforms of volunteers, technicians and referees of the Beijing Olympics and Paralympic Games in Beijing in this January 20, 2008 file photo. Volunteers, unpaid and self-supporting, have become an integral part of the Olympics over the last few decades and Beijing is recruiting a record 100,000 for the Summer Games in August and the following Paralympics.Picture taken January 20, 2008. To match feature OLYMPICS-CHINA/VOLUNTEERS REUTERS/Claro Cortes IV/Files (CHINA)