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 Maarten Maartensz:    Philosophical Dictionary | Filosofisch Woordenboek                       Prev

 P - Public Relations

 

Public Relations: Cant term for propaganda - distorted, biased, misinformed, slanted, manipulative prose (pictures, video, film, TV) designed to deceive - that is much beloved and used by the institutions that use "Public Relations" to further their interest and strengthen their social support.

"
Public Relations" have in fact been consciously created, originally as a species of propaganda, until it became clear this term had negative associations "public relations" spokesmen and spokeswomen wanted to avoid.

Its purpose, from the very start, was to spread lies or biased information about products, manufacturers, instutitons, and organizations, that would improve the social standing or support of the propagandized product or institution.

Note that "
Public Relations" tends to go further and be more intrusive, subtle and dishonest than mere propaganda or advertisement, both of which - in its more oldfashioned or naive forms - are more or less outspoken about being propaganda or advertisement.

Not so for much of
"Public Relations": This is meant to deceive, misinform, disinform, bias, mislead or prejudice people who partake of it, namely by pretending to be other than what it is - such as advertisements presented and packaged as if they were actual news shows, or "informational services" that really are propaganda for a specific person or institution, without saying so (except perhaps somewhere in very small print).

Also,
"Public Relations" often is designed to go further than plain advertisement, propaganda, or recommendations namely by biasing a public through making them feel good about a product, brand, or person, by associating such a thing with what seem to be disinterested or friendly help.

Much of what ordinary men read or hear in modern society
, especially since the 1970ies, is in fact propaganda, whether advertisement or public relations, and especially public relations have been a favorite means to influence and manipulate audiences, especially in the United States, where it tends to be covered or protected by Free Speech laws, although these had no original purpose to protect the professional practice of lying and deceiving for money for others - which is what Public Relations really is, though PR-folks tend to strongly resent or condescendingly pooh-pooh this bitter truth.

 


See also: Cooperation, Group, Groupthinking, Personal Perspectives, Perspective, PropagandaPropositional attitudes, Society, Them, Us, We


Literature:

Bernays, Hilgard & Atkinson

 Original: Oct 24, 2012                                                Last edited Nov 6, 2012: .   Top