The stunning and glamorous former Russian spy Anna Chapman (Anna Vasil’yevna Kushchyenko) has been recently nominated for a “Silver Boot” award – in fact, an anti-award ceremony, organized in Moscow by a local radio station, Silver Rain. The Silver Boot is focused on the most notorious events of the year, including scandals, and dubious achievements in show business. Anna Chapman’s history cannot be considered more dubious than… let’s say Paris Hilton’s, but somehow, the Russian media considered it “tacky.” While Chapman didn’t win the award in the shameless self-promotion category, the nomination remained, and with it the stigma.
The media would use any fuel for ratings, but Chapman’s PR skills cannot really win an award in the shameless self-promotion category. If anything, Chapman should be hired by the likes of Edelman, because looks and wits are a rare combination. Aside a number of semi-nude appearances, there’s nothing dubious about Chapman’s approach to self promotion. The classics are there: a Facebook fan page, a low profile Twitter account, and a website with a blog. Everything that appears on these public pages keeps a decent tone, moderate, if we’d compare it to similar sites belonging to American personalities.
While this moderate tone is sometimes contradicted by Anna Chapman’s public statements, there’s nothing really to remind of “shameless self-promotion” in the books. The former Russian spy is not tacky, but skilled. She knows when to speak, what to say, and she even knows how to handle media crisis. After the Silver Boot nomination, when her lawyer threatened the organizers to sue for including Anna in the shameless self-promotion category, she apologized publicly on her blog, wishing “Silver Rain” further success and prosperity.
Looking at Anna Chapman’s recent accomplishments, we even see her as the chief editor of the monthly newspaper Venture Business News. Recently, she entered the venture capital industry, trying to get innovative Russian youth to stay in Russia with their ideas, instead of going abroad. These things portray a person who uses personal charisma to make a positive difference for people in her country. And while not all Anna’s endeavors are “selfless” labeling them as “shameless” is a bit of a stretch. But beauty comes at a prices, and women like Anna will always have to pay it. The media will always look for the flaws, turning the smallest mistake in a media event of proportions.