New reports say that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy received PR consultations from Netanyahu’s advisers and their strategic consulting firm.
According to the Walla! news website, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has gotten media guidance from public relations specialists who formerly worked for former Israeli Prime Minister and opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu.
According to the report, Zelensky was advised by Srulik Einhorn, a senior adviser for Netanyahu’s Likud party in the previous elections. He is also alleged to have spoken with Jonatan Urich, a senior Netanyahu aide who still serves as the former prime minister’s spokesman.
Einhorn and Urich work at Perception.media, a strategic consulting firm, with Ofer Golan, another Netanyahu adviser. The company promotes itself as a “leader of significant and creative processes in the private and public sectors in Israel and abroad.” Einhorn applauded Zelensky’s media efforts on behalf of Ukraine in late March, publishing an op-ed in The Jerusalem Post outlining the Ukrainian president’s media strategies.
‘Ukraine Has a Weak Army, But Social Networks Are Strong’
In an article titled “On social media, Zelensky already won,” Einhorn said that while the world was unsure whether Russia would stop its special military operation due to the massive sanctions pressure or eventually “overwhelm Kiev,” he was confident that “the social-media campaign conducted by Ukraine is one of the most brilliant campaigns orchestrated by countries in recent decades.”
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“The Ukrainians have taken a complex rather than one-sided political situation and managed to sweepingly mobilize public opinion in the West,” he wrote. “If Ukraine manages to survive, it will only be thanks to the influential campaign.”
“Maybe because of his background in public relations, comedy and television,” the PR adviser says, Zelensky made two wise strategic decisions. He started by painting Ukraine as the weaker party.
“Once upon a time, being strong was considered an advantage. Today, thanks to social media, power has passed into the hands of the weak,” he explained.
Second, according to reports, Zelensky did not try to reach a deal with Russia, instead he “depicted Ukraine as poor and weak.”
Furthermore, Einhorn pointed out that Zelensky stopped referencing NATO in his many speeches after admitting that Ukraine was not welcome there. Instead, he is said to have taken advantage of the Western perception that the weak are deprived, unaccepted, and in need of help. He quickly persuaded the West that the complex subject of the present Ukraine crisis, as well as the reasons for current events, was black and white – “us” or “them.”
On Western television, Einhorm observed, there are no Ukrainian military officers to be seen. And, despite the fact that Ukraine has an army and uses violence, they remain “entirely under the radar” for Western audiences. “We only see Zelensky and civilians,” he explained.
“The West is excited about Ukraine. Zelensky has recognized the means of soft power and emotions in the Western World and is making the best of them to exert pressure and sanctions on Russia. “Without it, he would have been very quickly defeated,” Einhorn said, adding, “Ukraine has a weak army, but social networks are strong.”
Last month, for example, Zelensky launched a social media campaign using the hashtag #ArmUkraineNow to encourage states to expand weapons deliveries to Ukraine.
Zelensky spoke with US officials the same month as part of a larger campaign for the West to equip Ukraine with heavy weaponry. To confront Russia’s operations in eastern Ukraine’s Donbass region, the president has called for more weapons.
While the West has donated military hardware to Ukraine, Zelensky has emphasized that the country needs long-range air defense systems as well as jet fighters.
However, Zelensky’s public relations campaign has made some serious mistakes, such as when ethnic Greeks from the neo-Nazi Azov battalion, which is now part of Ukraine’s national guard, came in front of the Greek parliament last month at the Ukrainian leader’s invitation.
In Greece, their speech was met with public outrage. And, commenting last week about the situation with the Azov battalion and far-right groups in the country, Zelensky expressed his gratitude to them and said that neo-Nazi calls and slogans were strictly their own business, adding that there was “almost no” radicalism in the country.