Monday, June 20, 2011

What exactly is PR?

What exactly is PR.  The term was coined by Edward Bernays back in WWI. He thought it a better phrase than "propaganda".  So Bernays, known as the "Father of Public Relations" was also the Father of Spin.  Bernays knew he was doing. And he later wrote a book about PR which minced no words.  And it was called, not 'PR" -- but Propaganda!  The following quote is taken from Wikipedia....

The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of humanbeings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society. [...] In almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons [...] who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind.

This is something to consider. We, in the PR industry, seldom think about the assumptions and core concepts behind what we do.



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