Friday, February 5, 2016

American Government Should Stop Criticizing Russia’s Effective Public Relations Machine

Richard D. Pace,; via GG on Facebook

image from article

At Everything-PR News we are devoted to studying and reviewing all things public relations, including government.

Today, we review – and criticize – America’s out-sized obsession with doing better PR than Russia – and despite America’s outspending Russia, the reality is that Russia simply has a better and stronger media message than the United States.

Could it be stronger talent, or truth, or the fact that American government bureaucrats are often inept? Who knows – yet the reality is that the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) , which oversees multiple American media outlets, including Voice of America – and whose board includes Michael Kempner of MWW PR Group is completely inept.

Some months ago, it was shocking when the head of the BBG named Russian media outlet, RT, as one of the major challenges facing America, along with ISIS and Boko Haram. Another super power – albeit one with whom America has differences with – should not be likened to terrorists who kill innocent people worldwide.

The BBG is obsessed that America is losing the Public Relations battle to Russia – although one wonders perhaps part of the issue is this Administration’s complete flip-flop on so many key issues. And Hillary Clinton who recently called for a “no-fly zone” when Putin was bombing ISIS also does not make sense.

Perhaps foolish American policy is one of the reasons that Russia is winning the propaganda war.

Media reports indicate that RT’s total 2016 budget is 19 Billion rubles – approximately $200 Million. The BBG is projected to (waste? Flush down the toilet?) $751.5 million in 2016. And despite America spending nearly four times more than Russia, the Kremlin is more effective at influencing worldwide opinion.

And that, friends is called democracy. Russia is winning fair and square, and American government officials should stop complaining so much – and stop comparing an effective PR machine to a terrorist organization.

We thoroughly agree with a recent op-ed in Russia Today, which notes that, “..when you also consider the sheer size of the US private news media industry – most of it loyal to the government’s foreign policy platforms – Russia’s spending in this regard is truly a drop in the bucket.”

RT also notes that “As of the end of last year, the Russian government was slated to invest a total of 80.2 billion rubles (today that’s less than USD $1 billion) on all national media in 2016, both domestic and external. That includes everything, and is not limited to news. By contrast, Britain’s BBC (funded via a compulsory television tax for which dozens of people were jailed for not paying in 2015) spends over $7.7 billion and is about to get a massive supplementary injection from the UK defense budget shortly. Nobody at the BBG, or in the US Congress, has ever complained about London’s largesse, or its collection methods.”

America does not complain about the UK because they agree with their message – and that too is their right, just like in our free world today Russia has the right to tell their story. They have an obligation to speak out for their nation.

The head of BBG has said that, “We are in the business of trying to influence people to feel better about America.” Well, Public Relations is not always about the most money spent – and America is spending up the wazoo and is ineffective. And if Russia is winning at “propaganda” – as they are well then maybe America should examine why.

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