Recent talk with one of my closest mates and fellow philosopher(who will hopefully be contributing to my notebook soon) shed some light on the underpinning of modern day P/R.
Let’s take a look at Hill & Knowlton, one of the largest P/R firms in the world
Notable clients in the past and present include Amgen, Bank of Credit and Commerce International,  the Church of Scientology, Citizens for a Free Kuwait, Deloitte, Dolby, Georgia-Pacific, Haier, Hewlett-Packard, Indonesia, the Maldives, Mazda Motor, Merck,New Zealand, Nord Stream, Procter & Gamble, Qualcomm, SABIC, Statoil, Tobacco Industry Research Committee (now called the Council for Tobacco Research), Tata Communications, Turkey, the United States Catholic Conference, the US federal government, Wal Mart, and Yahoo!.
So what right? It’s pretty common knowledge that such firms have a P/R department and it’s pretty standard business in a society where images need to be updated and maintained. But who influenced modern day firms such as Hill & Knowlton in how to conduct P/R as we know seemingly know it. Is P/R just a fancy word for Propaganda 2.0, not really. It is actually just another word for propaganda.
Let’s take a look at the “father of public relations”: Edward Bernays. He was the nephew of Sigmund Freud and also on 100 most influential Americans of the 20th century by Life magazine.
Bernays’ public relations efforts helped to popularize Freud’s theories in the United States. Bernays also pioneered the PR industry‘s use ofpsychology and other social sciences to design its public persuasion campaigns:
“If we understand the mechanism and motives of the group mind, is it not possible to control and regiment the masses according to our will without their knowing about it? The recent practice of propaganda has proved that it is possible, at least up to a certain point and within certain limits.”
he coined the term ‘engineering of consent’
In his 1965 autobiography, Bernays recalls a dinner at his home in 1933 where
- Karl von Weigand, foreign correspondent of the Hearst newspapers, an old hand at interpreting Europe and just returned from Germany, was telling us about Goebbels and his propaganda plans to consolidate Nazi power. Goebbels had shown Weigand his propaganda library, the best Weigand had ever seen. Goebbels, said Weigand, was using my book Crystallizing Public Opinion as a basis for his destructive campaign against the Jews of Germany. This shocked me. … Obviously the attack on the Jews of Germany was no emotional outburst of the Nazis, but a deliberate, planned campaign.
- I just love how we are strictly criticizers of nazi germany but we rarely sit back and make the parallels to our modern day society. Not much has changed in P/R and propaganda since it’s early infusion except people are probably more lazy(when it comes to stark reality, don’t get me wrong there is lots of motivation and drive for following programs such as American idol and what not), less critical and easier to persuade.
- We live in an era now where more people are becoming aware but at a faster rate more people are shutting down their frontal lobes and submitting to the sublimity.