PR firm Р. И. М. Porter Novelli has just completed the first-ever rating of government ministers using comments from Russian-language blogs, social networking sites, and discussion forums. Gazeta.ru and Argumenty i fakty covered this electronic beauty contest. However, the firm’s press-release on its work wasn’t posted for first-hand examination.
The rating puts Finance Minister Kudrin, Emergency Situations Minister Shoygu, and Transport Minister Levitin at 1-2-3 in “popularity,” while Kudrin, Foreign Minister Lavrov, and Interior Minister Nurgaliyev are said to be tops in sheer mentions.
The firm also generated a rating of “good” and “bad” ministers. Defense Minister Anatoliy Serdyukov, Economic Development Minister Nabiullina, and Nurgaliyev head the so-called “white” list.
However, Nurgaliyev, Serdyukov, and Kudrin are also 1-2-3 on the “black” list of those most vilified on Ru.net. Health and Social Development Minister Golikova and Education Minister Fursenko are No. 6 and 7 on the “black” list.
For a traditional monthly opinion poll on what Russians think about top members of the government, check out VTsIOM’s monthly poll. You get a different picture here. For example, routinely about a quarter of the people are up on Serdyukov, a quarter are down, and half are unchanged. You can compare Nurgaliyev’s one-third, one-third, and one-third, or look at unpopular Fursenko’s generally negative rating.
Of course, the polling is very different from the PR firm’s rating. Internet penetration in Russia continues to grow; maybe 50 percent of Russians under 35 use the Internet every day or almost every day.
All this is just more data in the mix on how Russians (in this case, ones connected to and savvy about the Internet) regard Serdyukov and his military reforms.