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Saakashvili’s new PR move

2010-01-19 17:09

I don't see fundamental difference here. US viewers don't really care that much. The more Georgia is discussed there, the more they think about Saakashvili. No doubt this move is useful for Georgia that needs to regain its reputation being dependent on the West. Now it is most important for Georgia to make sure that Western politicians don't forget about it and go there as often as possible.

Is this move connected with Georgia's need in new financial inflows?

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Naturally. What else is advertising for? Any country needs inflows and investments after the conflict. And investments usually go to a country that has a better image. For instance I wouldn't invest in Yemen. By the way Russia is acting the same way setting up special advertising channels in the West.

Will advertising on CNN and BBC yield a required result?

Speaking about money flows - I'm not sure. But as for reference to Georgia in the press this kind of publicity will most probably be fruitful. At all events there will be some feedback.

Artem Malgin, docent of international relations and foreign policy department at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations

Is this PR move aimed at improvement of Georgia's image or the image of Saakashvili given ambiguous attitude to him in the West?

Advertising on reputable Western channels has its rules and standards. I believe this will be country advertising. Obviously Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili will be featured in it given his lack of modesty. On the other hand such "country advertising" has certain formats the channels won't break.

Is this move connected with Georgia's need in new financial inflows?

Throughout 2009 Georgia was referred to in a negative context as a country that hasn't recovered itself after the conflict. Moreover, recently Georgia vanished from a wide business milieu because of the crisis and in a situation like this Georgia's re-positioning will have some effect. Though it's hard to evaluate what this "country advertising" will bring in terms of finance.

Will advertising on CNN and BBC yield a required result?

As a rule this kind of advertising is good for the countries with well-developed travel facilities, but Georgia's current situation seems neglected in terms of recreation facilities. We are left to hope this will be positive advertising, not ex adverso when external circumstances and the states that according to Georgian leaders did harm to the country are brought up.

Sergey Fyodorov, senior research worker at the Institute of European Countries with the Russian Academy of Sciences, an MA in political studies.

Is this PR move aimed at improvement of Georgia's image or the image of Saakashvili given ambiguous attitude to him in the West?

Mikheil Saakashvili proved himself as a PR pro creating his personal image that's why now the West wants to believe in Georgian president's bright ideas. However the purpose of this campaign seems strange, since it's recreation. Hardly will Georgia be able to attract the West as a country for travelling. Competition will be tough.

Is this move connected with Georgia's need in new financial inflows?

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