Russia vs Georgia PR War Continues


According to The Age, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has been handling the bear’s share of the peaceful rhetoric himself in the conflict with Georgia. Interviews include the BBC, CNN, al Jazeera, LCI and an op-ed in the Financial Times titled “Why I had to recognise Georgia’s breakaway regions”. A week ago, Mikhail Gorbachev quelled some of the heat with his own piece in The New York Times.

“We don’t need another Cold War or a modern-day remake,” said the 42-year-old Medvedev on CNN. The Age article points to the work of Ketchum’s sister company in Brussels, GPlus Europe and quotes partner Tim Price on the Kremlin’s willingness to listen to council: “They realised that they needed to explain the rationale behind this decision.”

The Kremlin’s spokesman Sergei Lavrov, was quoted earlier this month, “We are like schoolchildren when it comes to using the media. But we are learning.”

Meanwhile, Intelligence Online (registration required) is reporting the Republic of Georgia will be looking to choose a Paris-based firm to amp up their European media relations. Currently they’re using the small Brussels-based Aspect Consulting, which shows a variety of pharma, food, and energy companies on its client list in addition to Georgia.

More after the jump:

Intelligence Online also created a chart to show how the Georgian PR and lobbying effort stretches from Tbilisi to Brussels, London, and Washington D.C. and highlight the Russian size advantage beyond their work with the Omnicom divisions:

Moscow can also call on the fire power of its pro-government press in Russia and recently set up think-tanks in Paris, Brussels and Washington to get its messages across.

Below is the chart outlining Georgia’s consultants, including Randy Scheunemann, the current foreign affairs adviser to the Republican candidate for the presidency, John McCain: