Thursday, March 31, 2011

PR Tips: Getting Corporate Social Responsibility Media Coverage inRussia

As you can see from my previous post in this blog, Russian media usually don't interfere into dealings between the businesses and the public, unless something goes terribly wrong there.

Wary stance of media on corporate social responsibility (CSR) is explained by Editorial guidelines, which prescribe to stay at arm's length from CSR of any given entity. Russian media are no exclusion and perhaps are even more rigid in complying to the rule. A kind of soft self-censorship.

However, there are at least three ways to get Russian media editorially interested in CSR. In Russian language at least. Because most English language media in Russia have higher demands for treating stories as valid news - from an international perspective.

So, one, is to embark on a trending topic. Take for instance the Earth Hour. Within this trending topic a story that three superstores supported the WWF initiative in St. Petersburg, Russia suddenly becomes valid news (in Russian, note the word “trend” in the link).

The second way is to create a valid news cause. By winning a prestigious PR prize, by getting honors from the government – whatever deems easier - or perhaps by creating a foundation named after a trademark. All these options are not quick. But the media coverage will also be longer-lasting.

The third way is to attract a newsmaker solid enough for the media to listen to and quote her. Even if it takes paying for a presser. Like in this case of IKEA and UNICEF (again, nothing spotted on the subject in English).

The above was part of my thesis for today's roundtable organized by the Moscow International Business Association.

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