image by axinia
Russia has a very subtle type of ego – while some countries try to show off and do excellent PR job outside, Russia simply does not care for its image. Let us be honest – today it is the question how the land “sells” itself and its policy plays a major role. And the fact that Russia really does not care much is harmful not only for the good relationships with the rest of the world, number of tourists or fans, but also the economical development.
The recent blizt-krieg in Georgia has again shown the deeply rooted image of “evil Russians” and how easy it comes up when needed. To be honest, I was shocked my the mass media coverage of the conflict with titles like “Russia is the aggressor”, etc.- simple knowing of the facts (historical and the present situation in Osetia) will let one know that it is not true. However Russian administration obviously does not care about presenting the facts for the world community. That´s a shame and also rather respectlos.
It gets obvious if one compares with the others. Luckily, some western media realise how the PR machine of Georgia worked. “Indeed, if the Georgian Army had been as aggressive as its public relations campaign then the war for South Ossetia might have ended very differently”, says The Times and Le Figaro. As foreign correspondents poured into Tbilisi a team of Belgian PR advisers launched a slick operation to keep them updated with e-mail alerts detailing the latest alleged aggressions by Russia and the Georgian Government’s reaction. On Sunday, for example, more than 20 e-mails went out to shape Georgia’s message that Russia had launched an invasion. Some of the claims veered into outright exaggeration – such as stating that Russian jets were “intensively bombing Tbilisi” or that Russian troops had taken Gori. At the same time Russian administration did not even think of a press-conference (!).
Apparently there are some programms aiming to improve the image of Russia abroad, but the best PR is just airing the true information and letting people know what is happening – whether it is good or bad. And the main reason why Russia does not do it – believe me or not – not because they want to hide something, but just because they do not care much. As I mentioned in my earlier posts, Russia has always been a self-sufficient country, doing well at inside-propaganda but not interested much in the outside one. Today I feel it gets worse – the latest dramatic development in Caucasus speaks for itself.
Today people want to be informed and it is their good right. Russia, please show your true face! I wish the world could learn it proper, and not through the lines of manipulated mass media. As it looks now, bloggers are the only hope to get some correct, although personally coloured infromation.