19 August 1991 – Kommersant Vlast
For the first time in the USSR, a foreign company specializing in public relations (PR) has been officially accredited – American firm PBN Company. Its representative office opened in Moscow on August 13.
In the USSR, the company intends to service business meetings and conferences, ensure communication between Western companies and the Soviet press, and also promote the application of PR methods in Soviet business practice.
Public relations are a common type of business service.
PR companies create images for their clients, organize advertising campaigns and carry out public opinion polls and marketing research.
One of the areas of a PR company’s work is to handle damage to a client’s image resulting from crises related to their activities: accidents, chemical leaks, medicine or food poisoning.
Kimberly Getto, a spokesperson for the company’s Moscow representative office, said that PBN’s first step on the Soviet market will be to establish contact with the biggest national newspapers and also Moscow-based business publications. PBN has also already received orders from several major US companies for advertising support in the USSR.
Getto said that PBN intends not only to service foreign clients but also to promote the application of PR methods in Soviet business practice. PBN offers Soviet businesses courses on PR, as well as, public speaking and interview training for relevant employees. PR training for a group of five takes 1 – 3 days and costs $5,000 – $10,000. Training a managing specialist for interaction with the media takes 1 – 2 days and costs $500 – $2,000.
PBN is also willing to create corporate identities and logos for Soviet businesses and to advertise their products on the American market. Ms. Getto said that, in certain circumstances, if the firm believes the product a Soviet client is offering has good prospects in America, then the advertising campaign could be carried out free of charge until the client begins to make a foreign currency income.