Public Sphere--week 6 February 7, 2006. Public Communication: PR and Social Marketing propaganda theory and PR Jacques Ellul. keywords. mass society crowd theory propaganda theory civic advocacy propaganda cultural pedagogy modernity and postmodernity. outline.
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PR and Social Marketing
(1) The shared history of PR and propaganda: the role of propaganda theory
(2) Jacques Ellul: the major theorist of propaganda in the 20th century
“When I came back to the United States, I decided that if you could use propaganda for war, you could certainly use it for peace. And propaganda got to be a bad word because of the Germans.. using it. So what I did was to try to find some other words, so we found the words Council on Public Relations.”
"Politics is the process by which it is determined who gets what, when and how.”
Harold Laswell (1902-78;
his image on left)
"The term 'propaganda' has since come to refer to the no-holds barred use of communication to propagate specific beliefs and expectations."
(i) scope of debate is limited to a narrow range
(ii) messages derive from and reflect dominant political and economic interests
(iii) messages marginalize and demonize opposing perspectives
(iv) messages use simplistic language and images and reduce complexity of reality to digestible form. typically appeal to emotion, not to reason
(v) messages compel conformity of audience, and do not invite dialogue or questions
"Modern propaganda reaches individuals enclosed in the mass and as participants in that mass, yet it also aims at a crowd, but only as a body composed of individuals." (Ellul, Propaganda, p. 6)