IVY LEE — A “PR HISTORIC FATHER” AS A LEADER IN PUBLIC DIPLOMACY: UNKNOWN PAGES OF INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATION BETWEEN THE U.S.S.R. AND THE U.S.
Keywords:public relations, PR technologies, public affairs, public diplomacy, public opinion, propaganda, international connections
AbstractThe article presents a study of little-known pages of the history of the Russian-American communications in the Soviet period (late 1920s and early 1930s). The researcher is focused on the communication activity of Ivy Lee, a prominent American PR expert, a recognized historic father of public relations, whose name is associated with a change in the public opinion of Americans about the U.S.S.R. towards official recognition of the Soviet state and development of political and economic relations between the two countries. One of the most interesting features about the Ivy Lee’s work is his technique of the so-called “participant observation” that he used in his numerous international projects. For a short time, a consultant was actively engaged in the events delving into the foreign culture and different social situation, trying to identify the real mechanisms that govern the processes. A special role of this professional was that he had always acted as a real mediator between different social worlds and facilitated their communications rather than just being an observer. The relevance of the study lies in the peculiarities of the research “angle”: the intercultural communication between the two countries is not viewed as an internal process which is still more common for the Russian historiography, but as a reciprocal activity of Western proponents of social change. The novelty of the study consists in the author’s attempt to introduce the documents of Soviet-American relations, never published before, as well as the Ivy Lee’s book dedicated to Russia and never translated into Russian. The study highlights the significance of the communicative aspects of socio-cultural and political processes which is getting more and more important for the modern society in today’s globalization.
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