New Tasks of Regional Press Services under Conditions of Socio-economic Instability
Kirill Tuzov, Director of Political and Special Projects at Baikal Communications Group, spoke at the plenary meeting of the 4th All-Russian Forum of Regional Media, which was held from the 3rd to the 4th of October in Perm with the support of the Ministry of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media of the Russian Federation.
In his report “New tasks of regional press services. Scenarios of possible solutions in the conditions of socio-economic instability” Kirill Tuzov noted that the public consciousness of Russians is increasingly turning to regional problems, while it is becoming more difficult for the authorities to position their work: the “presumption of guilt” applies to the activities of managers. In this situation, the press services must change the approach to their work, transforming into a full-fledged PR headquarters, covering all areas of information activity, to the extent that politics and government are fading into the background. Of particular importance is the work on crisis management, which should be carried out with journalists and opinion leaders: the press service should not only inform about decisions and projects, but also explain the causes and consequences of managerial decisions from the standpoint of a socio-economic public good. In this regard, expert consultation of journalists and opinion leaders is required so that unpopular decisions are not overgrown with speculation and understood in the public space with an understanding of the reasons and circumstances for their adoption. A review is also needed regarding work on social networks. The bureaucratic style of communication, the suppression of problems and the unnatural, often inappropriate positive, reject the audience and create a barrier between the government and society.
Given these issues, Kirill Tuzov described the main changes that should occur in the work of the press services in the near term:
- Strengthening of control over the non-political information space in social networks and media with the possibility of dot readjusting of the broad public opinion, which consists in involving popular media and communities in social networks on the side of the authorities in times of crisis.
- The development of baseline information for alternative positive trends affecting the actions of the authorities, carried out to achieve the common good.
- Implementation of a risk-based approach in commenting and responding of negative. Reduction of reaction time.
- Replacing bots with influence agents on all network communication platforms.
- Work with journalists and opinion leaders as a separate area of PR with the creation of detailed informational and explanatory basis.