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   Course Title    Particularities of Informational Management and Public Relations in Post-Totalitarian Russia: A Regional Aspect
Lecturer    Dmitri Rech
Institution    The Pskov Branch of S.-Petersburg Academy for Engineering and Economics
Country    Russia

Objectives and Description of the Course

The aim of the course is to define specific and common features of forming the informational and communicative space in Post-Totalitarian Russia. Such approach is adapted from the theories and practice of public relations, taking into account the reality of contemporary Russia.


The NIS countries are experiencing not only contradictory economic, political and nationalistic trends but also practicing different informational systems of forming and managing public opinion.  The existing model of Public Relations in Russia, especially on the regional level, needs thorough theoretical analysis with the purpose of further empirical usage. 


From the very beginning, definitions of many terms within the course are put into correlation with their actual usage in public relations.  It appears necessary to specify this, because many terms may at the same time be regularly observed in the context of purely political, economic and social discourses.  However, the aim of the course is to embed them into the particular field of Public Relations, thus constructing a model of informational space and social communications management.


Moving towards the objectives of the course, it is necessary to identify the differences between the existing institution of forming and managing public opinion in the Western democratic countries and contemporary post-totalitarian Russia. The course is illustrated with examples from both the world history of the 20th century and with well-known and unknown events from the recent history of Russia (1970s through 1990s), including the participants’ analysis of regional informational communications in the Urals region (such as political election campaigns on regional and municipal levels).


A separate section of the course is devoted to the new tendencies in the sphere of public communications, so actively applied in developed democracies. In particular, a shift in modern communication management is taken into account, when the subjects of PR modulation are substituted for general systematic communication technologies, such as models of information management.


I draw a special attention to the integration of Public Relations into non-political and business spheres of society, such as business and marketing programs, advertising and supply technologies, and the objects of culture processes at large.


Course Structure and Requirements

The course consists of 54 academic hours.  The average number of students varies from ten to sixteen.  The format of the course is interactive.  Students are expected to attend regularly and participate actively.  Each student is expected to endorse a discussion on particular examples to be suggested.  Participants are strongly encouraged to make oral presentations on related topics.


Evaluation for the Final Grade:

Regular attendance: 20% of the grade

Active participation in the workshops: 30% of the grade

Oral presentation on related topic: 15% of the grade

Final paper (details will be discussed during the classes): 35% of the grade


Course Outline:

Class one and two (four academic hours)

Introductory lectures.

Definition of basic terms and concepts.  Social communications. Informational space.

·        History of PR

·        Different PR schools and approaches, including the system of totalitarian propaganda in the USSR

·        Social, ethical and legal aspects of PR

·        PR as the contemporary social science discipline and as an empirical tool

·        Areas of PR technology’s applications in Russia and abroad

·        Mass media in post-totalitarian Russia

·        Differences between Eastern and Western models of informational space

·        Analysis of contemporary Russian socially significant constants

·        Basic glossary of terms


Class Three (two academic hours)

PR services.  Structure and functions.

Definition of basic aims and functions.  Structural models research.  Defining the aim.  Definition of strategic and tactical planning.  The position of PR structures at the object.

·        State structures (federal and regional aspect)

·        Business structures

·        Social NGOs

·        Political organizations


Class four (two academic hours)

Forms of operating PR information. 

Information presentation.  Communications management.  Media cause creation.  Notion of social importance of the information.

·        Press conference

·        Conference

·        Presentation

·        Press tour

·        Information delivery

·        Direct work with mass media

·        Media map and coverage

·        Media cause

·        News creation


Classes five and six (four academic hours)

Status units in PR.  Situation analysis.  Evaluation.

Quality indexes of PR.  Objective analysis of the situation.  Analysis of the contradictions. Events prognosis.  Extreme (crisis) situations.

·        Status, image, publicity, public opinion.

·        Typical dynamics of quality index’ change

·        Objective evaluation of quality index

·        Methods of data collection and analysis

·        Methods of status correction


Class seven (two academic hours)

PR – psychological workshop

Notion of work instrument and technology.  Obtaining practical experience of resource’s definition and usage.  Complex usage of means and technologies.

·        Quality levels of PR

·        Stereotypes and dominants of public perception

·        Recourses of advertisement communication

·        Perception channels and their usage

·        Laws of development dynamics of informational systems

·        Methods of solving contradictions


Classes eight, nine and ten (six academic hours)

Political PR

Development of skills for defining strategy and tactical goals and contradictions.

Development and realization of PR in the political campaign.  Understanding and evaluating the role of informational space and communications within political campaign conduction.

·        Basic glossary

·        Political marketing and political PR

·        History of political advertisement in Russia and abroad

·        Particularities of political advertisement in post totalitarian society


Informational management

·        SPIN technology

·        Gossip

·        Usage of anonymous information

·        News construction

·        Creation of media causes


Forms of information presentation

Crisis situations and extreme management of information


Classes eleven, twelve, thirteen and fourteen (eight academic hours)

Image in contemporary Russia

Theories and typologies of political image.  How to influence public opinion.  How to create leaders, electoral preferences.  Techniques of image creation and management.


Role of the image in political communication

Parts of image composition

Typical images

Communication symbols

Channels of non-verbal communication

Psychological wars

Mass logic

Image creation.  Technology and instruments.


·        Positioning

·        Manipulation

·        Idealization

·        Creation and usage of myths


Classes fifteen, sixteen, seventeen and eighteen (eight academic hours)

Analysis of different socio-communicative models

Basic differences in existing models of social communication.  Pragmatic methods of information management in the end of the twentieth century.  Post-totalitarian states: experiences of the Eastern European countries.  Post-totalitarian Russia: synthesis of the Soviet propaganda system and new democratic methods of managing public opinion.

Development of the system of state control after informational space in Western democracies.

Totalitarian societies: particularities of public opinion management

Post-totalitarian societies: experience and models of transition to democratic relations.

Mass Media in the countries of Eastern Europe.


Post-totalitarian Russia: experience of democratic and legal reforms.

·        Informational wars in contemporary Russia

·        Perception of political contradictions in contemporary Russia: public opinion

·        State regulation of communications

·        Federal and regional levels: important differences


Classes nineteen, twenty, twenty one, and twenty-two (eight academic hours).

New models of information management.

Deviation from the classical altruistic principles of PR. The role of state interests in the formation of the content-oriented model of information management. Information space as a strategic resource.

·        Communication wars

·        Geopolitical interests in the scope of information resources

·        Managing the state information interests

·        Subtle methods of information management

·        Legalization of the managerial information streams


Classes twenty-three, twenty-four, twenty-five, and twenty-six (eight academic hours).

Integration of PR technologies into business-applications and socially relevant programs.

·        Marketing communications in business institutions, the meaning and usage of communication technologies

·        Marketing-mix and advertising

·        Manipulation technologies at work with public opinion

·        Sociological research as a basis for PR planning operations

·        Non-governmental institutions

·        NGOs

·        Objects of cultural development



List of Recommended Literature:


Russian Sources (in Russian):

Borev, V.Ju. and A.V. Kovalenko. Kul’tura I massovaja kommunikatsija [Culture and Mass Communication]. Moscow: Nauka, 1986.

Diligenskii, G.P. Sotsial’no-politicheskaja psihologija [Social and Politic Psychology]. Moscow, 1996.

Dmitriev, A.V. Neformal’naja politicheskaja kommunikatsia [Informal Political Communication]. Moscow, 1997.

Gurevitch, S.M. Gazeta I rynok – kak dobit’sya uspeha [Newspaper and the Market – How to Reach Success]. Moscow, 1994.

Kovler, A.I. Izbiratel’nye technologii: rossijskij I zarubezhnyj opyt. [Elective Technologies: Russian and Foreign Experience]. Moscow. 1995.

Konetskaja, V.P. Sotsiologija kommunikatsii [Sociology of Communication]. Moscow, 1997.

Potcheptsov, G.G. Pablik rilejshnz [Public Relations] Moscow: Tsentr, 1998.

Roschin, S.K. Psihologija i zhurnalistika [Psychology and Journalism]. Moscow: Nauka, 1989.

Strovskii D.L. Pablik rileishnz v ekstremal’nyh i konfliktnyh situatsijah [Public Relations in Extreme and Conflict Situations]. Ekaterinburg: Urals State University Publishing House, 1996.

Shepel, V.M. Imidzheologija [Image Studies]. Moscow. 1996.



Foreign Sources (in English):

Black, S. The Essentials of Public Relations. London, 1994.

Introduction to Public Relations. London, 1989.

Sean, B. The Advertising handbook. ROUTLEDGE /London/ New York, 2000,

Dilenschneider, R., and D. Forrestal. Public Relations Handbook. Chicago, Boston, London: Dartnell Corp., 1990.

Dyer, G. Advertising as communication. ROUTLEDGE /London/ New York, 1999.

Goldman, J. Public Relations in the Marketing Mix: Introduction.  Vulnerability Relations. Lincolnwood: NTC Business Books, 1995.

Marieke de Mooij. Global marketing and advertising. Understanding cultural paradoxes. SAGE Publications/ International Educational and Professional Publisher/ Thousand Oaks, London, New Delhi, 1998.

Yudkin, M.  6 Steps to Free Publicity. London & New York: A Plume Book, 1994.

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