The Russian parliamentary elections of 1995 were a major event in the development of Russian political public relations. The presidential elections of 1996 further established public relations as a widely-used tool in the struggle for power. Previously, political consultants had only been listened to: agreed with at times, or turned to for help on occasion. Politicians had tended to look upon public relations firms as something rather dubious - a tool for money laundering, perhaps?
Having received support from party sponsors and impressive results in election campaigns, political consultancy turned into a profitable sphere of business. Experts estimate that political public relations made up between 60 to 70 per cent of the overall amount of orders placed with Russian public relations agencies. The Russian market, in that respect, differed from its western counterpart, where financial, corporate and crisis public relations tended to predominate.
Political PR in Russia
Professor Evgeny N. Pashentsev is a research supervisor in communication management at Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russia. He is also a member of several associations, including the Russian Public Relations Association and the European Public Relations Education and Research Association (EUPRERA), as well as coordinator of the Communication Management in Politics and Business section for the Central and East European International Studies Association (CEEISA).