From March 21 to March 24, 2019, a third refresher course “GR and Lobbying in Business and Nonprofit Sector” was conducted at the MGIMO School of Business and International Proficiency, implemented in partnership with Baikal Communications Group.

The basis of the expanded four-day program included the study of applied lobbying and GR-technologies of business and non-profit sector interaction with the government. Lobbying tools and technologies were analyzed by the example of russian and international companies from various industries, structures with public ownership and leading charitable foundations.

The introductory part of the course traditionally was conducted by the academic advisor of the program, the CEO of Baikal Communications Group, Eduard Voytenko and the GR and Communications Director of Cargill LLC in Russia, Andrey Lyan, who spoke about the key features of lobbying in Russia, federal and regional GR-tools and technologies, as well as in the supranational space (EEU). Vladimir Goncharevich, Dixy Group GR Director, demonstrated the work of his department via retail cases and told about the nuances of interaction with other industry players on similar and different tasks in federal executive bodies. Dmitry Polikanov, President of the So-edinenie (Con-nection) Foundation, has devoted listeners in special aspects of the GR approaches formed in the non-profit sector. Finally, on the same day, the President of the National Fruit and Vegetable Union Anatoly Kutsenko noted the reverse of the medal, presenting the expectations of the authorities from GR-managers by the example of the agricultural industry.

On the second day of the program, Sergey Makarov, Deputy Head of the Russian Railways Department of interaction with public authorities, spoke about the features of GR in state-owned companies via examples from his company. Vladimir Gerasimov, Head of the Regional Communications Office of PJSC LUKOIL, highlighted in detail the international, federal and regional agendas of the GR-experts work in the oil and gas sector. By the example of the international machine-building concern, the vice-president of Siemens (Russia), Alexey Vorobiev, spoke about the role of GR during the “sanctions wars” period. In addition, the second day program focused on the interaction mechanisms with the EEC. The Head of the Business Advocacy Section of the EEC Business Development Department, Artem Yulegin, and the CEO of the Eurasian Center for Integration Research and Communications, Stanislav Naumov, explained the effective strategic and tactical areas of work in the supranational space.

During the third day of training, cases on short and long lobbying projects at the federal and regional levels were reviewed in the following areas: IT & Telecom (Dmitry Kononov, Head of Federal Government Relations Department, VimpelCom PJSC and Anna Smirnova, Cisco GR Director in Russia and the CIS), electric power industry (Alexander Pavlenko, Fortum PJSC, director for public authorities affairs), the metallurgical industry (Maria Dronova, GR and charitable activities director, EvrazHolding LLC). On that day audience also learned about solving GR tasks through the judicial system from Alexander Moskovkin, Head of section “Law”, Rossiyskaya Gazeta.

Within the fourth, final day of the course, complex industries were considered from a regulation and public attention point of view. Elman Mehdiyev, President of the National Association of Professional Collection Agencies, opened the academic day with cases from the financial industry, focusing on the influence strategy. Ivan Glushkov, Deputy General Director of Stada CIS, spoke about the features of GR in the pharmaceutical industry by the examples from his own practice, clearly explaining the goal-setting and logic of market players in cooperation with government bodies. The topic of influence on excise policy and reaction to marking initiatives was a cross-cutting theme running through the speeches of regulated industries representatives. Yana Guskova, Director of Legal Affairs and External Corporate Relations of BAT Russia told us what a proactive GR strategy in the tobacco industry is. In conclusion, Irina Fedorova, Senior Director for Government Affairs of the Baltika Breweries LLC (Carlsberg Group structure), shared her skills in building a GR-department in the company and evaluating its efficiency.

The audience included top managers and managers of such companies as PepsiCo (Russia), Baltika Breweries, PJSC LUKOIL, Uralchem JSC, Energoprom Management JSC, RT-Business Development LLC (Rostec), Promsvyazbank PJSC, Baikal Communications Group, KPMG JSC, Zelenograd Development Corporation and others. In addition, for the first time, representatives from the nonprofit sector attended the course (from the Podari Zhizn (Gift of Life) Charity Foundation. Total number of students – 19. Upon completion of the course, participants were given refresher course certificates.

The refresher program takes place twice a year. Registration for the second intake in 2019 is open.

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