Joel Harding, toinformistoinfluence.com;via DMB
image from entry
On January 28, 2016, Everything-PR published an article by Richard Pace titled American Government Should Stop Criticizing Russia’s Effective Public Relations Machine.
I’ll highlight a few excerpts and address each one separately.“Russia simply has a better and stronger media message than the United States”
I absolutely agree. Not for the reasons Everything-PR cites, such as talent, truth or ineptitude. Both Russia and the US have talent, including the folks at Everything-PR, their own version of the truth and certainly pockets of ineptitude.
Russia has a completely unfair advantage, which Everything-PR glaringly forgets to mention. Russia controls Russian media. This double-edged blade not only issues written guidelines to media, bloggers and trolls, but they actively regulate and suppress opposing opinions. This blog has been blocked in Russia four times in the past six months, I speak from actual experience.
“[T]he 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.”
Russia is not a super-power. They have nukes, but they no longer wield the power, diplomatically, information wise, militarily or economically that the Soviet Union wielded. Russia reminds the rest of the world, frequently, that ‘we have nukes’, whenever they feel the need to assert power into a situation, but that is the only real power they have. Unfortunately Everything-PR confuses local actions in East Ukraine and Syria as military power, which are tactical actions, certainly not operational or strategic. Russia’s 5:1 loss ratio while fighting Ukraine illustrates their military ineptitude. Their equipment is antiquated and rusty, as is illustrated by their frequent fighter and bomber crashes, due to 25 years of neglect and no maintenance funding.
“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.”
The BBG’s mission is to promote democracy worldwide, especially in denied areas. Russia is becoming a denied area. Permits to operate foreign broadcast stations within Russia have been withdrawn, the Roskomnadzor, Russia’s internet censor bureau, blacklists and blocks opposition and opposing opinion websites globally, and Russia restricts foreign partial ownership of any Russian media to 20%, by law. I am uncertain how Everything-PR defines “obsession”; it is BBG’s mission to promote the United States of America.
What in the hell does that statement about Hillary Clinton have to do with the article? Fail.
Flip-flops by the administration? Is this suddenly a political discussion? Another fail.
“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.”
The main problem here is that Everything-PR is focused on only one of Russia’s state-sponsored (bought, paid for and operated) ‘media’ outlet RT only.
A simple search reveals a few of the budgets for RT and others for 2015:
RT: $400 millionRossiya Segodnya: $170 million
The budget figures used by the Everything-PR article appears to be two, perhaps three years old. What is your source that you are so terribly wrong? This makes me strongly suspicious of the rest of your article.
Please, Everything-PR, WHAT media reports? You use BBGWatch, a highly biased anti-BBG site run by a disgruntled former employee for the BBG budget but you neglect to show your source for your obviously bogus RT budget. How could your numbers be so wrong?
RT and Rossiya Segodnya are only two of the dozens of state-sponsored news sites in Russia, and looking at only two outlets, Everything-PR is off by over $370 million. For a fairly comprehensive list of Russian state-sponsored, Russian proxy sites and other news sites, please go to http://toinformistoinfluence.com/2015/11/15/russian-news-and-russian-proxy-news-sites/.
RT had so much money, you neglected to say, that in December 2014 they spun off a separate network, Sputnik International, with stations in most free countries of the world. Speaking of which, why did you not include Sputnik International in your article?
“Russia is winning fair and square”…
In the entire article, these six words are the most egregiously wrong in the entire piece of… writing. First, there is no winning or losing. Your assertion that this is a competition is just wrong.
Second, “fair and square” implies ethics or morality is involved by both sides. The United States plays by the rules and embraces journalistic integrity, not necessarily PR rules where one can and often does say anything, no matter how far fetched, to promote their cause.
Russia routine, consistently and continually lies, fabricates stories, they misinform, they use disinformation, they distort, they use racial, religious and hateful political cartoons, and it is all well-coordinated in something called Information Warfare. Information Warfare also includes something called Active Measures, a carryover from the Soviet Union. Stories are often planted in a third party news site in, for instance, India. This story is later cited as the source for an equally fabricated malicious piece, often accusing the United States of something illegal but preposterous. See Operation Infektion for a shining example. Russia does the same thing today, using mostly Russian proxy sites I list here: http://toinformistoinfluence.com/2015/11/15/russian-news-and-russian-proxy-news-sites/. The difference is these stories are now heaped on top of stacks of other lies and it gets difficult to uncover and counter all the lies. Their quality is poor, a marked change from Soviet Active Measures.
For the past 24 months, this blog has attempted to identify the massive propaganda efforts by Russia. I’ve since been joined by hundreds of others around the world, including NATO and the EU. To say Russia does anything “fair and square” is completely disingenuous and just plain wrong.
“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.””
I have heartburn about using an RT article as a source in your article with a dearth of proper sources. RT is, without a doubt, one of the worst violators of journalistic standards in Russian media today.
“loyal to the government’s foreign policy platforms”? This is the same media that questions every foreign policy decision made by the President or recommended by State? This is the same media that publishes when liars, lawbreakers and anything slightly corrupt is exposed? This is the same media allowed to disagree by the 1st Amendment? Please, pray tell, show me anything even slightly akin to this in Russia? Even the Moscow Times is beginning to knuckle under to the Kremlin since their Finnish majority ownership was sold to a Russian – mandated by Russian law.
If Everything-PR limits their Russian media view to one media outlet, RT, not only is their perspective completely out of whack with reality, it is also completely biased.
I, personally, have conferred with the BBG about Measures of Effectiveness with two different Directors of Research. The BBG answers to the American taxpayer, not Everything-PR. They are doing their best to become more efficient and effective, but if your two sources for this article are biased against the BBG from the outset, your article is certain to be skewed. Whatever happened to objectivity?
The article is factually grossly flawed and just plain wrong. Richard Pace did inadequate research, forgot to take an objective approach and neglected to show any other side other than his bias.
Everything-PR and Richard Pace – for shame.