V. Korolko on prospects of 2012


Valentyn Korolko, Vice-President of the Ukrainian Public Relations League, Head of Public Relations Department of National University “Kyiv-Mohyla Academy” (NaUKMA), President of Mainstream Communication & Consulting, shares his vision of what expects Ukrainian PR branch in 2012.

I believe that every public relations specialist knows about the main upcoming high profile events of national and international scale of this new year. However, it is not only about the fact that the Euro 2012 and parliamentary elections open opportunities for growth of the communication market. The main questions are if our PR-industry will be up to the mark, whether it will be able to demonstrate its professional and social maturity to Ukrainian and world communities. All depends on whether we are going simply to “profit” from these high-profile events or, as specialists with experience in large-scale communications, will contribute our mite in improvement of Ukraine’s international reputation. In general, the year 2012 will challenge the social responsibility of Ukrainian PR in both business and social institutes.

In Valentyn Hryhorovych’s opinion, on the one hand, today Ukrainian non-governmental PR organizations (e.g. PR League, UAPR, Ukrainian PR Alliance, etc.) are separated and they do not have a common vision of ways of improving the PR-trade reputation in Ukraine. On the other hand, they were a reason that their creative potential turned out to be poorly demanded by governmental authorities. No matter what is the part of the government’s fault in it, but many projects on Euro 2012, due to shortage of proper initiative of the Ukrainian PR-community, are unsystematic. Reforms of the sitting authority became even more unpopular owing to lack of due communication support. All these faults caused the “Tax Maidan”, protests against the Pension Reform of the Chernobyl liquidators and veterans of Afghan war, and student protests against reforming of higher education. Other types of the public protest can be anticipated as well. I shall repeat once again: yes, government institutions are in many respects to blame for it. Hence, the catastrophic decline of confidence to governmental institutions.

Professional PR-community has kind of nothing to do with it. But everything changes abruptly as soon as a parliamentary election campaign begins. Political PR managers, political strategists become highly demanded. Techniques of “black PR” will be in use again, however in a more refined form. We might expect disregard of professional conduct standards in the sphere of public relations yet again that does not promote strengthening of PR-trade reputation in Ukraine. Besides, unfortunately, very few people from professional leagues, associations or alliances are eager to monitor similar phenomena on the model of such widespread western movements as “Political Ad Watch”, “Human Rights Watch” and many others.

Nevertheless, there is one sphere, in which our professional community can team up mentally. It is the sphere of PR education. Involvement in preparation of young PR specialists at the best universities of our country, particularly of master degree holders, at the level of international standards must be the matter of prestige for PR-community. Besides, it should be a sponsor project rather than commercial.

A pilot version of such project for today is the first in Ukraine master degree program “Management of Public Relations”, created in the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy in 2010. The best PR-professionals of Ukraine, including members of UAPR and PR League, on the sponsorship basis conduct here regularly master-classes and share their experience with future specialists. Leading international and domestic PR agencies, well-known transnational companies provide an opportunity to students to undertake a proper industrial internship. Such examples of joint efforts of Ukrainian PR-community will continue developing in future without fail.