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Text 1. PR and Advertising in Government Institutions

The term “Public relations” means working with public opinion, influence it in a way that is positive to an organisation. Nowadays public and municipal agencies face the need to conduct active information policy. That is why the establishment of effective public relations is an important part of public administration. That is way sate agencies and municipal authorities have opened special press services, press centres and PR departments to conduct their policy. Some regional public administrations tend to collaborate with independent PR agencies because of the short term objectives such as an election campaign. PR specialists or those whom we call press secretaries, information officers, public affairs or communication specialists keep people informed about the activities of state agencies and offices.

In the UK every minister is in charge of the PR policy of his ministry. PR activities are regulated not only by departmental PR-services, but also by the Central Office of Information, which helps specialists of the public sector deliver policy objectives and public services efficiently and effectively from a network of offices across the UK. As part of the Government Communication Network, the Central Office of Informationsets standards, offers guidance on digital engagement, shares knowledge and expertise. The COI is uniquely responsible for producing and distributing information materials and for delivering a special government website Directgov that provides access to public sector services.

The Broadcasting Board of Governors in the USA is an organisation devoted to “public diplomacy”. It is responsible for all non-military international broadcasting sponsored by the US government. Thus, public affairs specialists in the US Department of State keep their citizens informed of the US position on foreign issues.

In Russia there are three main levels of state-operated PR bodies - federal, regional and local. The federal level PR body has the widest authorities and functions, while the regional level PR office is more effective, though its sphere of influence is narrower in comparison with that of the federal one. Local or municipal PR agencies are mostly implemented by social institutions, such as organisations of disabled people, veterans or mothers of large families and their main mission is to maintain people's trust.

The most developed federal PR institution in Russia is the President's PR administration, which involves such substructures as the Public Relations Department, the Press-Service department, the Protocol Department and so on. The President's PR administration is responsible for providing analytical and propagandistic materials to media. It coordinates the work of federal press centres, organises the relationship with media and implements the information policy of the country. Management in the public sphere is different from a similar role in the private sector, because of the inherent differences between the two sectors. One of the characteristics that differentiates the public and private sectors is the role and power of the news media or, more generally, the importance of external communication as an element of management. Thus, in the private sector, an organisation's target audience is a group of people interested in a certain product or service. As for the state sector, the spheres of actions and influences are wider, and the task is to deliver information to and build communication with various groups of a society. So, the main tasks for PR professionals working for the stated-owned bodies are:

1. to establish and maintain communication with people and organisations in order to study public opinion;

2. to gain public understanding on decisions made by the state agencies;

3. to influence the attitudes and behaviours of public by using research and behavioural insight;

4. to encourage public trust by identifying policies, procedures and concerns;

5. to build a favourable image of the government and officials;

6. to respond directly on citizens' enquiries and complaints;

7. to consult managers of government institutions on how to organise press-conferences and public presentations or how to prepare speeches for officials;

8. to improve the labour-management relations and build a friendly atmosphere inside the state organisation.

PR professionals perform a wide range of services such as preparing the annual reports, gathering information, handling news releases and other forms of media coverage, as well as managing promotions, special events, and speech writing. In the contemporary world government institutions need high-qualified professionals in the sphere of advertising and PR to encourage public trust and support.

Answer the questions:

1. What does the term “public relations” mean?

2.Why did state bodies and municipal authorities open special press services and different PR departments?

3. What are the main responsibilities of the Central Office of Information in the UK?

4. What is the US Broadcasting Board of Governors responsible for?

5. What are the main levels of the state-operated PR bodies in Russia?

6. What is the most developed federal PR institution in Russia?

7. How does management of public and private sectors differ?

8. What are the main tasks of PR professionals working for the stated-owned bodies?

9. What range of services do PR professionals perform?

10. Why do government institutions need high-qualified professionals in the sphere of advertising and PR?


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