On Dec. 4, the Executive Board of the Silver Archer National Public Relations Award and Russia Beyond The Headlines, the international project of Rossiyskaya Gazeta, held a roundtable discussion entitled "Communications in the Global World; Where to Start?"
The focus of the roundtable was the role of communications in a world that increasingly demands stronger integration, leaner production and a friendlier approach. The speakers were representatives of those projects that received the highest praise from the judges in the category "Communications in the Global World" during last year’s Silver Archer competition.
Yevgeny Abov, Deputy CEO of Rossiyskaya Gazeta and the head of international projects, described the success of the Russia Beyond The Headlines project. Now five years old, RBTH publishes supplements in 14 languages in 32 of the world’s most influential newspapers, with a total circulation of more than 10.5 million. On Dec. 5, 2012 the latest new English-language supplement on Russia appeared in the United Arab Emirates, and a few days later, a similar supplement was published in Arabic.
"RBTH is not propaganda, but a media project. It lives and develops exclusively by the laws of quality journalism and high editorial standards. If we don’t offer interesting information, we might lose the readers and our partners will simply shut this application down," said Abov. For RBTH, however, the opposite has been true. In several countries, local publications have agreed to bear some of the costs associated with the supplement in order to have RBTH appear in their pages. The RBTH project’s effectiveness in terms of its impact on the attitude to Russia has been confirmed by the findings of readership surveys, which are conducted on an annual basis by marketing departments of the organization’s media partners.
Public Communications of Private Corporations
Sergey Novikov, head of Communications Department of the state nuclear corporation Rosatom, focused his speech on the multi-format communications plan used by Rosatom to reach out to different audiences. The media employed by the company include: press tours for bloggers to Russian nuclear power plants, computer games on social networks and sponsoring a feature film whose storyline involves a nuclear power plant. They have also used more traditional forms of outreach, such as sponsoring forums, participating in exhibitions and holding conferences for professionals. Novikov emphasized that all kinds of modern communications can be useful, adding that it’s impossible to single out any specific format as the key one because only a "comprehensive approach" can be effective.
Novikov said that the ability to promptly respond to crisis situations helped Rosatom coordinate its work after the accident at Fukushima caused mass fears about nuclear power. As a result, he said, today the waves of negativity and panic have been reversed, confidence in the nuclear sector as a reliable source of energy has been restored and positions of the domestic nuclear power industry have been maintained both in Russia and abroad.
Subtle, Emotionally Sensual Bonds
Yulia Stonogina, a vice president at the International Association of Business Communicators, used the example of the Kuromori Kagura in Russia festival to demonstrate that cross-cultural contacts form the surest bonds between countries and people. The Kagura, a 600-year-old Japanese ritual, was performed in Russia for the first time in 2011 to great interest. Stonogina said that it is no accident that Japan names ambassadors of culture and art in areas where it seeks to expand business contacts. Businessmen come to the area only when there is no doubt about the readiness and willingness of locals to accept and understand Japanese traditions.
Global, Multi-Format, Technology
"Any kind of technology will do, but it must be global," said Fyodor Klimkin, spokesman for Lukoil Overseas. "In fact, the technologies must be adapted for the needs of the audiences. A multi-format platform is yet another property of a successful interaction."
In conclusion, Valery Levchenko, RIA Novosti Deputy Editor-in-Chief and the chairman of the Expert Group in the Communications in the Global World category of the Silver Archer National Award, said: “These brief presentations are indeed the examples of complex, interesting projects. The diversity of the world and variety of communications promised us a lot of new stories."
Applications for next year’s Silver Archer National Award in the category “Communications in the Global World” can be submitted until Dec. 31 to Nadezhda Yavdolyuk, Executive Director of the Silver Archer National Award, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Winners will be announced at the Silver Archer ceremony on Feb. 15.
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