Public Relations:
Professional Associations and Their Impact on the PR-Sphere

Аbramov R.N.

Dr. Sci. (Sociol.), Prof., Department of Sociology, Faculty of Social Sciences, National Research University Higher School of Economics; Senior Research Fellow, Institute of Sociology of FCTAS RAS, Moscow, Russia

DOI: 10.31857/S013216250012552-0
ID of the Article: 8378

This article was prepared as part of the Academic Fund Program at the National Research University Higher School of Economics (HSE) in 2019–21 (№ 19-01-029) and by the Russian Academic Excellence Project “5–100”.

For citation:

Аbramov R.N. Public Relations: Professional Associations and Their Impact on the PR-Sphere. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. 2020. No 11. P. 96-106


This article is devoted to the analysis of the establishment of professional associations in the field of PR in Russia in the context of the professionalization of this field in the post-Soviet space. The theoretical and methodological framework of the study is the critical ecology of the profession, which allows you to cover different levels of life of professional groups. The empirical basis of the work was interviews with representatives of the PR profession and publications on the websites of professional associations of this segment of the industry of influence. The first part of the article analyzes the existing studies of the PR profession in post-Soviet countries and concludes that the professionalization of public relations in Russia is insufficiently studied. Further, the state of professional associations in the field of PR is described. Fragmentation and weakness of these associations are noted, including a decrease in the role of the first major association of the Russian Association for Public Relations, created in 1991. It is noted that a similar situation exists with the relatively weak influence of professional associations on the life of communities characteristic of other new professions that appeared in the twentieth century. Also in Russia, the role of trade unions is traditionally weak.

industry of influence; PR; public relations; critical ecology of professions; professional associations; sociology of professions


Abbot A. (2005) Linked Ecologies: States and Universities as Environments for Professions. Sociological Theory. Vol. 23. No. 3: 245–274. DOI: 10.1111/j.0735-2751.2005.00253.x.

Abramov R.N. (2000) Transformation of Methods of Sociological Research under the Influence of the Practice of Political Consulting: the Experience of Included Observation. Rubezh [Frontier]. No. 15: 188–210. (In Russ.)

Abramov R.N., Yarskaya-Smirnova E.R. (2017) The Retrospective of Russian and Soviet Professionalism through the Optics of Critical Ecology. Mir Rossii [Universe of Russia]. Vol. 26. No. 2: 103–127. (In Russ.)

Antonova V.K., Kisurina A.E. (2013) “Social Advertiser”: the Formation of a New Profession in a Social State. In: Romanov P.V., Yarskaya-Smirnova E.R. (eds) Professions of Welfare State. Moscow: OOO “Variant”; TsSPGI: 293–307. (In Russ.)

Azarova L.V., Shishkin D.P. (1998) Potential Need for Public Relations Specialists. In: Man in the Cultural Context. St. Petersburg: SPbGU: 100–110. (In Russ.)

Bronfenbrenner U. (1986) Ecology of the Family as a Context for Human Development. Developmental Psychology. Vol. 22. No. 6: 723–742. DOI: 10.1037/0012-1649.22.6.723.

Chumikov A.N., Bocharov M.P. (2011) Public Relations: Theory and Practice: Textbook. Moscow: Delo. (In Russ.)

Clarke T.M. (2000) An Inside Look at Russian Public Relations. Public Relations Quarterly. No. 45: 18–22.

Dalli C., Miller L., Urban M. (2012) Early Childhood Grows up towards a Critical Ecology of the Profession. London: Springer.

Dolea A. (2012) Institutionalizing Government Public Relations in Romania after 1989. Public Relations Review. Vol. 38. No. 3: 354–366. DOI: 10.1016/j.pubrev.2011.12.008.

Fairushina M.Z. (2011) Specific Features of Electoral Consulting in Developing Political Market in Russia. Vestnik Bashkirskogo universiteta [Bulletin of Bashkir University]. No. 2: 557–561. (In Russ.)

Fours V.N. (2001) On Anthony Giddens’ “Critical Theory of Modernity”. Sotsiologicheskiy zhurnal [Sociological Journal]. No. 1: 44–73. (In Russ.)

Giddens A. (1991) Modernity and Self-identity: Self and Society in the Late Modern Age. Cambridge: Polity Press.

Grunig J.E., Grunig L.A., Verčič D. (2004) Public Relations in Slovenia: Transition, Change, and Excellence. In: Tilson D., Alozie E. (eds) Toward the Common Good: Perspectives in International Public Relations. Boston: Allyn & Bacon: 133–162.

Guth D.W. (2000) The Emergence of Public Relations in the Russian Federation. Public Relations Review. Vol. 26. No. 2: 191–207.

Habermas J. (1989) The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere: an Inquiry into a Category of Bourgeois Society. Cambridge: Polity Press.

Huang Y.H. (2001) Should a Public Relations Code of Ethics be Enforced? Journal of Business Ethics. Vol. 31. No. 3: 259–270. DOI: 10.1023/A:1010719118448.

L’Etang J. (2008) Public Relations in Britain. A History of Professional Practice in the 20th Century. London: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Ławniczak R. (2001) Transition Public Relations – An Instrument for Systemic Transformation in Central and Eastern Europe. In: Ławniczak R. (ed.) Public Relations Contribution to Transition in Central and Eastern Europe: Research and Practice. Poznaf: Biuro Usugowo-Handlowe: 7–18.

Ławniczak R., Rydzak W., Trębecki J. (2003) Public Relations in an Economy in Transition and Society in Transition: The Case of Poland. In: Sriramesh K., Verčič D. (eds) Global Public Relations Handbook. New York; Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates: 78–98.

Lejbovich O. (2005) Social Invisibility: Top-managers of Regional Election Campaigns. In: Romanov P.V., Yarskaya-Smirnova E.R. (eds) Anthropology of Professions. Saratov: TsSPGI; Nauchnaya kniga: 305–322. (In Russ.)

Lippman U. (2004) Public Opinion. Moscow: FOM. (In Russ.)

Mansurov V.A., Yurchenko O.V. (2009) Sociology of Professions (History, Methodology, Research Practices). Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. No. 8: 36–45. (In Russ.)

Matveychev O.A. (2018) Russian Market of Political Technologies: Stages of Formation and Prospects of Development. Polis. Politicheskie issledovaniya [Polis. Political Studies]. No. 2: 82–99. (In Russ.) DOI: 0.17976/jpps/2018.02.07.

Moiseeva V. (1997) Development of the Russian Market of Public Relations. Marketing i marketingovye issledovaniya v Rossii [Marketing and Marketing Research in Russia]. No. 5: 2–7 (In Russ.)

Niemann-Struwega I., Meintjes C. (2008) The Professionalism Debate in South African Public Relations. Public Relations Review. Vol. 34. No. 3: 224–229. DOI: 10.1016/j.pubrev.2008.03.029.

Noordegraaf M. (2011) Remaking Professionals? How Associations and Professional Education Connect Professionalism and Organizations. Current Sociology. Vol. 59. No. 4: 465–488. DOI: 10.1177/0011392111402716.

van Ruler B., Verčič D. (eds) (2004) Public Relations and Communication Management in Europe: A Nation-by-Nation Introduction to Public Relations Theory and Practice. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton. DOI: 10.1515/9783110197198.

Shilina M.G. (2011) Genesis of Russian Public Relations: Topical Aspects. Mediaskop [Mediascop]. No. 2. Article no. 22. (In Russ.)

Shishkina M.A. (2002) Public Relations in the System of Social Management. St. Petersburg: Palladamedia; RUSICh. (In Russ.)

Shushkova N. (2005) Sociologist in the Election Campaign: Strokes for a Portrait. In: Romanov P.V., Yarskoya-Smirnova E.R. (eds) Anthropology of Professions. Saratov: TsSPGI; Nauchnaya kniga: 322–334. (In Russ.)

Sogomonov A. (2000) ‘Tusobshchestvo’. In: Sogomonov A.Y., Kuhterin S.E. (eds) Aspects of Social Theory and Contemporary Society. Moscow: IS RAN: 14–23. (In Russ.)

Tkachuk I.S., Konovalova M.A. (2016) The Main Stages in the Development of Professional Political Consulting in Post-communist Russia. Nauchnaya diskussiya: voprosy sociologii, politologii, filosofii, istorii [Scientific Discussion: Sociology, Politics, Philosophy, History]. No. 9(49): 44–47. (In Russ.)

Tsetsura K. (2004) Russia. In: van Ruler B., Verčič D. (eds) Public Relations and Communication Management in Europe: A Nation-by-Nation Introduction to Public Relations Theory and Practice. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton: 331–347. DOI: 10.1515/9783110197198.331.

Tsetsura K., Minaeva L.V., Aydaeva N. (2014) Russia. In: Watson T. (ed.) Eastern European Perspectives on the Development of Public Relations. New York: Palgrave Macmillan: 82–99.

Content No 11, 2020