In fact, the main one, Edward Bernays, comes right out of the Creel Commission. He has a book that came out right afterwards called Propaganda. The term Attached files. Propaganda - computerescue.info ( KB). Propaganda. IdentifierBernaysPropaganda. Identifier-arkark://tj59g. OcrABBYY FineReader Openlibrary_editionOLM. Book Source: Digital Library of India Item computerescue.info: Edward L. computerescue.infoioned.
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Bernays' honest and practical manual provides much insight into some of the most powerful and influential institutions of contemporary industrial state capitalist. "A look at how government and corporations control how we think and act, Propaganda outlines Edward Bernays's vision for regimenting the collective mind . Project Gutenberg offers free ebooks for Kindle, iPad, Nook, Android, and iPhone.
For instance, in the specific problems of the manufacturer he examines the product, the markets, the way in which the public reacts to the product, the attitude of the employees to the public and towards the product, and the cooperation of the distribution agencies. The counsel on public relations, after he has examined all these and other factors, endeavors to shape the actions of his client so that they will gain the interest, the approval and the acceptance of the public.
The means by which the public is apprised of the actions of his client are as varied as the means of communication themselves, such as conversation, letters, the stage, the motion picture, the radio, the lecture platform, the magazine, the daily newspaper.
The counsel on public relations is not an advertising man but he advocates advertising where that is indicated. Very often he is called in by an advertising agency to supplement its work on behalf of a client. His work and that of the advertising agency do not conflict with or duplicate each other. His first efforts are, naturally, devoted to analyzing his client's problems and making sure that what he has to offer the public is something which the public accepts or can be brought to accept.
It is futile to attempt to sell an idea or to prepare the ground for a product that is basically unsound. For example, an orphan asylum is worried by a falling off in contributions and a puzzling attitude of indifference or hostility on the part of the public.
The counsel on public relations may discover upon analysis that the public, alive to modern sociological trends, subconsciously criticizes the institution because it is not organized on the new "cottage plan. Or a railroad may be urged to put on a fast train for the sake of the prestige which it will lend to the road's name, and hence to its stocks and bonds.
If the corset makers, for instance, wished to bring their product into fashion again, he would unquestionably advise that the plan was impossible, since women have definitely emancipated themselves from the old-style corset.
Yet his fashion advisers might report that women might be persuaded to adopt a certain type of girdle which eliminated the unhealthful features of the corset. His next effort is to analyze his public.
He studies the groups which must be reached, and the leaders through whom he may approach these groups. Social groups, economic groups, geographical groups, age groups, doctrinal groups, language groups, cultural groups, all these represent the divisions through which, on behalf of his client, he may talk to the public.
Propaganda - Edward L. Bernays
Only after this double analysis has been made and the results collated, has the time come for the next step, the formulation of policies governing the general practice, procedure and habits of the client in all those aspects in which he comes in contact with the public. And only when these policies have been agreed upon is it time for the fourth step.
The first recognition of the distinct functions of the public relations counsel arose, perhaps, in the early years of the present century as a result of the insurance scandals coincident with the muck-raking of corporate finance in the popular magazines.
The interests thus attacked suddenly realized that they were completely out of touch with the public they were professing to serve, and required expert advice to show them how they could understand the public and interpret themselves to it. The Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, prompted by the most fundamental self-interest, initiated a conscious, directed effort to change the attitude of the public toward insurance companies in general, and toward itself in particular, to its profit and the public's benefit.
It tried to make a majority movement of itself by getting the public to download its policies. It reached the public at every point of its corporate and separate existences. To communities it gave health surveys and expert counsel. To individuals it gave health creeds and advice. Even the building in which the corporation was located was made a picturesque landmark to see and remember, in other words to carry on the associative process.
And so this company came to have a broad general acceptance. The number and amount of its policies grew constantly, as its broad contacts with society increased. Within a decade, many large corporations were employing public relations counsel under one title or another, for they had come to recognize that they depended upon public good will for their continued prosperity.
It was no longer true that it was "none of the public's business" how the affairs of a corporation were managed. They were obliged to convince the public that they were conforming to its demands as to honesty and fairness. Thus a corporation might discover that its labor policy was causing public resentment, and might introduce a more enlightened policy solely for the sake of general good will.
Or a department store, hunting for the cause of diminishing sales, might discover that its clerks had a reputation for bad manners, and initiate formal instruction in courtesy and tact. The public relations expert may be known as public relations director or counsel. Often he is called secretary or vice-president or director.
Sometimes he is known as cabinet officer or commissioner. By whatever title he may be called, his function is well defined and his advice has definite bearing on the conduct of the group or individual with whom he is working. Many persons still believe that the public relations counsel is a propagandist and nothing else.
But, on the contrary, the stage at which many suppose he starts his activities may actually be the stage at which he ends them. After the public and the client are thoroughly analyzed and policies have been formulated, his work may be finished. In other cases the work of the public relations counsel must be continuous to be effective. For in many instances only by a careful system of constant, thorough and frank information will the public understand and appreciate the value of what a merchant, educator or statesman is doing.
The counsel on public relations must maintain constant vigilance, because inadequate information, or false information from unknown sources, may have results of enormous importance.
A single false rumor at a critical moment may drive down the price of a corporation's stock, causing a loss of millions to stockholders. An air of secrecy or mystery about a corporation's financial dealings may breed a general suspicion capable of acting as an invisible drag on the company's whole dealings with the public. The counsel on public relations must be in a position to deal effectively with rumors and suspicions, attempting to stop them at their source, counteracting them promptly with correct or more complete information through channels which will be most effective, or best of all establishing such relations of confidence in the concern's integrity that rumors and suspicions will have no opportunity to take root.
His function may include the discovery of new markets, the existence of which had been unsuspected. If we accept public relations as a profession, we must also expect it to have both ideals and ethics.
The ideal of the profession is a pragmatic one. It is to make the producer, whether that producer be a legislature making laws or a manufacturer making a commercial product, understand what the public wants and to make the public understand the objectives of the producer. In relation to industry, the ideal of the profession is to eliminate the waste and the friction that result when industry does things or makes things which its public does not want, or when the public does not understand what is being offered it.
For example, the telephone companies maintain extensive public relations departments to explain what they are doing, so that energy may not be burned up in the friction of misunderstanding.
A detailed description, for example, of the immense and scientific care which the company takes to choose clearly understandable and distinguishable exchange names, helps the public to appreciate the effort that is being made to give good service, and stimulates it to cooperate by enunciating clearly. It aims to bring about an understanding between educators and educated, between government and people, between charitable institutions and contributors, between nation and nation.
The profession of public relations counsel is developing for itself an ethical code which compares favorably with that governing the legal and medical professions. In part, this code is forced upon the public relations counsel by the very conditions of his work. While recognizing, just as the lawyer does, that every one has the right to present his case in its best light, he nevertheless refuses a client whom he believes to be dishonest, a product which he believes to be fraudulent, or a cause which he believes to be antisocial.
One reason for this is that, even though a special pleader, he is not dissociated from the client in the public's mind. Another reason is that while he is pleading before the court—the court of public opinion—he is at the same time trying to affect that court's judgments and actions. In law, the judge and jury hold the deciding balance of power. In public opinion, the public relations counsel is judge and jury, because through his pleading of a case the public may accede to his opinion and judgment.
He does not accept a client whose interests conflict with those of another client. He does not accept a client whose case he believes to be hopeless or whose product he believes to be unmarketable.
He should be candid in his dealings. It must be repeated that his business is not to fool or hoodwink the public. If he were to get such a reputation, his usefulness in his profession would be at an end. When he is sending out propaganda material, it is clearly labeled as to source.
The editor knows from whom it comes and what its purpose is, and accepts or rejects it on its merits as news. Trotter and Le Bon, who approached the subject in a scientific manner, and Graham Wallas, Walter Lippmann and others who continued with searching studies of the group mind, established that the group has mental characteristics distinct from those of the individual, and is motivated by impulses and emotions which cannot be explained on the basis of what we know of individual psychology.
So the question naturally arose: 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 it? The recent practice of propaganda has proved that it is possible, at least up to a certain point and within certain limits.
Mass psychology is as yet far from being an exact science and the mysteries of human motivation are by no means all revealed. But at least theory and practice have combined with sufficient success to permit us to know that in certain cases we can effect some change in public opinion with a fair degree of accuracy by operating a certain mechanism, just as the motorist can regulate the speed of his car by manipulating the flow of gasoline.
Propaganda is not a science in the laboratory sense, but it is no longer entirely the empirical affair that it was before the advent of the study of mass psychology. It is now scientific in the sense that it seeks to base its operations upon definite knowledge drawn from direct observation of the group mind, and upon the application of principles which have been demonstrated to be consistent and relatively constant The modern propagandist studies systematically and objectively the material with which he is working in the spirit of the laboratory.
If the matter in hand is a nation-wide sales campaign, he studies the field by means of a clipping service, or of a corps of scouts, or by personal study at a crucial spot He determines, for example, which features of a product are losing their public appeal, and in what new direction the public taste is veering. He will not fail to investigate to what extent it is the wife who has the final word in the choice of her husband's car, or of his suits and shirts.
Scientific accuracy of results is not to be expected, because many of the elements of the situation must always be beyond his control. He may know with a fair degree of certainty that under favorable circumstances an international flight will produce a spirit of good will, making possible even the consummation of political programs.
But he cannot be sure that some unexpected event will not overshadow this flight in the public interest, or that some other aviator may not do something more spectacular the day before. Even in his restricted field of public psychology there must always be a wide margin of error. Propaganda, like economics and sociology, can never be an exact science for the reason that its subject-matter, like theirs, deals with human beings.
If you can influence the leaders, either with or without their conscious cooperation, you automatically influence the group which they sway. But men do not need to be actually gathered together in a public meeting or in a street riot, to be subject to the influences of mass psychology.
Because man is by nature gregarious he feels himself to be member of a herd, even when he is alone in his room with the curtains drawn. His mind retains the patterns which have been stamped on it by the group influences. A man sits in his office deciding what stocks to download. He imagines, no doubt, that he is planning his downloads according to his own judgment.
In actual fact his judgment is a melange of impressions stamped on his mind by outside influences which unconsciously control his thought.
Don't be the product, download the product!
He downloads a certain railroad stock because it was in the headlines yesterday and hence is the one which comes most prominently to his mind; because he has a pleasant recollection of a good dinner on one of its fast trains; because it has a liberal labor policy, a reputation for honesty; because he has been told that J. Morgan owns some of its shares. Trotter and Le Bon concluded that the group mind does not think in the strict sense of the word.
In place of thoughts it has impulses, habits and emotions. In making up its mind its first impulse is usually to follow the example of a trusted leader.
This is one of the most firmly established principles of mass psychology. It operates in establishing the rising or diminishing prestige of a summer resort, in causing a run on a bank, or a panic on the stock exchange, in creating a best seller, or a box-office success. But when the example of the leader is not at hand and the herd must think for itself, it does so by means of cliches, pat words or images which stand for a whole group of ideas or experiences.
Not many years ago, it was only necessary to tag a political candidate with the word interests to stampede millions of people into voting against him, because anything associated with "the interests" seemed necessarily corrupt.
Recently the word Bolshevik has performed a similar service for persons who wished to frighten the public away from a line of action. By playing upon an old cliche, or manipulating a new one, the propagandist can sometimes swing a whole mass of group emotions.
In Great Britain, during the war, the evacuation hospitals came in for a considerable amount of criticism because of the summary way in which they handled their wounded. It was assumed by the public that a hospital gives prolonged and conscientious attention to its patients.
When the name was changed to evacuation posts the critical reaction vanished. No one expected more than an adequate emergency treatment from an institution so named.
The cliche hospital was indelibly associated in the public mind with a certain picture. To persuade the public to discriminate between one type of hospital and another, to dissociate the cliche from the picture it evoked, would have been an impossible task.
Instead, a new cliche automatically conditioned the public emotion toward these hospitals. Men are rarely aware of the real reasons which motivate their actions. A man may believe that he downloads a motor car because, after careful study of the technical features of all makes on the market, he has concluded that this is the best.
He is almost certainly fooling himself. He bought it, perhaps, because a friend whose financial acumen he respects bought one last week; or because his neighbors believed he was not able to afford a car of that class; or because its colors are those of his college fraternity. It is chiefly the psychologists of the school of Freud who have pointed out that many of man's thoughts and actions are compensatory substitutes for desires which he has been obliged to suppress.
A thing may be desired not for its intrinsic worth or usefulness, but because he has unconsciously come to see in it a symbol of something else, the desire for which he is ashamed to admit to himself.
A man downloading a car may think he wants it for purposes of locomotion, whereas the fact may be that he would really prefer not to be burdened with it, and would rather walk for the sake of his health. He may really want it because it is a symbol of social position, an evidence of his success in business, or a means of pleasing his wife. This general principle, that men are very largely actuated bv motives which they conceal from themselves, is as true of mass as of individual psychology.
It is evident that the successful propagandist must understand the true motives and not be content to accept the reasons which men give for what they do. It is not sufficient to understand only the mechanical structure of society, the groupings and cleavages and loyalties.
An engineer may know all about the cylinders and pistons of a locomotive, but unless he knows how steam behaves under pressure he cannot make his engine run. Human desires are the steam which makes the social machine work. Only by understanding them can the propagandist control that vast, loose-jointed mechanism which is modern society.
The old propagandist based his work on the mechanistic reaction psychology then in vogue in our colleges.
This assumed that the human mind was merely an individual machine, a system of nerves and nerve centers, reacting with mechanical regularity to stimuli, like a helpless, will-less automaton.
It was the special pleader's function to provide the stimulus which would cause the desired reaction in the individual downloadr. It was one of the doctrines of the reaction psychology that a certain stimulus often repeated would create a habit, or that the mere reiteration of an idea would create a conviction.
Suppose the old type of salesmanship, acting for a meat packer, was seeking to increase the sale of bacon. It would reiterate innumerable times in full-page advertisements: "Eat more bacon.
Eat bacon because it is cheap, because it is good, because it gives you reserve energy. He knows as a mathematical certainty, that large numbers of persons will follow the advice of their doctors, because he understands the psychological relation of dependence of men upon their physicians.
The old-fashioned propagandist, using almost exclusively the appeal of the printed word, tried to persuade the individual reader to download a definite article, immediately. This approach is exemplified in a type of advertisement which used to be considered ideal from the point of view of directness and effectiveness: "YOU perhaps with a finger pointing at the reader download O'Leary's rubber heels—NOW.
Although the appeal was aimed at fifty million persons, it was aimed at each as an individual. The new salesmanship has found it possible, by dealing with men in the mass through their group formations, to set up psychological and emotional currents which will work for him. Instead of assaulting sales resistance by direct attack, he is interested in removing sales resistance. He creates circumstances which will swing emotional currents so as to make for downloadr demand.
If, for instance, I want to sell pianos, it is not sufficient to blanket the country with a direct appeal, such as: "YOU download a Mozart piano now. It is cheap. The best artists use it. It will last for years. What are the true reasons why the downloadr is planning to spend his money on a new car instead of on a new piano?
Because he has decided that he wants the commodity called locomotion more than he wants the commodity called music? Not altogether. He downloads a car, because it is at the moment the group custom to download cars. The modern propagandist therefore sets to work to create circumstances which will modify that custom.
He appeals perhaps to the home instinct which is fundamental. He will endeavor to develop public acceptance of the idea of a music room in the home. This he may do, for example, by organizing an exhibition of period music rooms designed by well known decorators who themselves exert an influence on the downloading groups. He enhances the effectiveness and prestige of these rooms by putting in them rare and valuable tapestries. Then, in order to create dramatic interest in the exhibit, he stages an event or ceremony.
To this ceremony key people, persons known to influence the downloading habits of the public, such as a famous violinist, a popular artist, and a society leader, are invited. These key persons affect other groups, lifting the idea of the music room to a place in the public consciousness which it did not have before. The juxtaposition of these leaders, and the idea which they are dramatizing, are then projected to the wider public through various publicity channels.
Meanwhile, influential architects have been persuaded to make the music room an integral architectural part of their plans with perhaps a specially charming niche in one corner for the piano. Less influential architects will as a matter of course imitate what is done by the men whom they consider masters of their profession.
They in turn will implant the idea of the music room in the mind of the general public. The music room will be accepted because it has been made the thing.
And the man or woman who has a music room, or has arranged a corner of the parlor as a musical corner, will naturally think of downloading a piano. It will come to him as his own idea. Under the old salesmanship the manufacturer said to the prospective downloadr, "Please download a piano.
To emphasize that Jackson Heights was socially desirable every attempt was made to produce this associative process. A benefit performance of the Jitney Players was staged for the benefit of earthquake victims of Japan, under the auspices of Mrs. Astor and others. The social advantages of the place were projected—a golf course was laid out and a clubhouse planned. When the post office was opened, the public relations counsel attempted to use it as a focus for national interest and discovered that its opening fell coincident with a date important in the annals of the American Postal Service.
This was then made the basis of the opening. When an attempt was made to show the public the beauty of the apartments, a competition was held among interior decorators for the best furnished apartment in Jackson Heights.
An important committee of judges decided. This competition drew the approval of well known authorities, as well as the interest of millions, who were made cognizant of it through newspaper and magazine and other publicity, with the effect of building up definitely the prestige of the development. One of the most effective methods is the utilization of the group formation of modern society in order to spread ideas.
An example of this is the nationwide competitions for sculpture in Ivory soap, open to school children in certain age groups as well as professional sculptors. A sculptor of national reputation found Ivory soap an excellent medium for sculpture. The Procter and Gamble Company offered a series of prizes for the best sculpture in white soap. The contest was held under the auspices of the Art Center in New York City, an organization of high standing in the art world. School superintendents and teachers throughout the country were glad to encourage the movement as an educational aid for schools.
Practice among school children as part of their art courses was stimulated. Contests were held between schools, between school districts and between cities. Ivory soap was adaptable for sculpturing in the homes because mothers saved the shavings and the imperfect efforts for laundry purposes. The work itself was clean. The best pieces are selected from the local competitions for entry in the national contest. This is held annually at an important art gallery in New York, whose prestige with that of the distinguished judges, establishes the contest as a serious art event.
In the first of these national competitions about pieces of sculpture were entered. In the third, 2, And in the fourth, more than 4, If the carefully selected pieces were so numerous, it is evident that a vast number were sculptured during the year, and that a much greater number must have been made for practice purposes.
The good will was greatly enhanced by the fact that this soap had become not merely the concern of the housewife but also a matter of personal and intimate interest to her children. A number of familiar psychological motives were set in motion in the carrying out of this campaign. The esthetic, the competitive, the gregarious much of the sculpturing was done in school groups , the snobbish the impulse to follow the example of a recognized leader , the exhibitionist, and—last but by no means least—the maternal.
All these motives and group habits were put in concerted motion by the simple machinery of group leadership and authority. As if actuated by the pressure of a button, people began working for the client for the sake of the gratification obtained in the sculpture work itself.
This point is most important in successful propaganda work. The leaders who lend their authority to any propaganda campaign will do so only if it can be made to touch their own interests. There must be a disinterested aspect of the propagandist's activities.
In other words, it is one of the functions of the public relations counsel to discover at what points his client's interests coincide with those of other individuals or groups. In the case of the soap sculpture competition, the distinguished artists and educators who sponsored the idea were glad to lend their services and their names because the competitions really promoted an interest which they had at heart—the cultivation of the esthetic impulse among the younger generation.
Such coincidence and overlapping of interests is as infinite as the interlacing of group formations themselves. For example, a railway wishes to develop its business. The counsel on public relations makes a survey to discover at what points its interests coincide with those of its prospective customers.
The company then establishes relations with chambers of commerce along its right of way and assists them in developing their communities.
It helps them to secure new plants and industries for the town. It facilitates business through the dissemination of technical information. It is not merely a case of bestowing favors in the hope of receiving favors; these activities of the railroad, besides creating good will, actually promote growth on its right of way. The interests of the railroad and the communities through which it passes mutually interact and feed one another.
In the same way, a bank institutes an investment service for the benefit of its customers in order that the latter may have more money to deposit with the bank. Or a jewelry concern develops an insurance department to insure the jewels it sells, in order to make the downloadr feel greater security in downloading jewels.
Or a baking company establishes an information service suggesting recipes for bread to encourage new uses for bread in the home. The ideas of the new propaganda are predicated on sound psychology based on enlightened selfinterest. I have tried, in these chapters, to explain the place of propaganda in modern American life and something of the methods by which it operates—to tell the why, the what, the who and the how of the invisible government which dictates our thoughts, directs our feelings and controls our actions.
In the following chapters I shall try to show how propaganda functions in specific departments of group activity, to suggest some of the further ways in which it may operate. Business to-day is taking the public into partnership. A number of causes, some economic, others due to the growing public understanding of business and the public interest in business, have produced this situation.
Business realizes that its relationship to the public is not confined to the manufacture and sale of a given product, but includes at the same time the selling of itself and of all those things for which it stands in the public mind.
Twenty or twenty-five years ago, business sought to run its own affairs regardless of the public. The reaction was the muck-raking period, in which a multitude of sins were, justly and unjustly, laid to the charge of the interests. In the face of an aroused public conscience the large corporations were obliged to renounce their contention that their affairs were nobody's business.
If to-day big business were to seek to throttle the public, a new reaction similar to that of twenty years ago would take place and the public would rise and try to throttle big business with restrictive laws.
Business is conscious of the public's conscience. This consciousness has led to a healthy cooperation. Another cause for the increasing relationship is undoubtedly to be found in the various phenomena growing out of mass production. Mass production is only profitable if its rhythm can be maintained— that is, if it can continue to sell its product in steady or increasing quantity. The result is that while, under the handicraft or small-unit system of production that was typical a century ago, demand created the supply, to-day supply must actively seek to create its corresponding demand.
A single factory, potentially capable of supplying a whole continent with its particular product, cannot afford to wait until the public asks for its product; it must maintain constant touch, through advertising and propaganda, with the vast public in order to assure itself the continuous demand which alone will make its costly plant profitable.
This entails a vastly more complex system of distribution than formerly. To make customers is the new problem. One must understand not only his own business—the manufacture of a particular product—but also the structure, the personality, the prejudices, of a potentially universal public. Still another reason is to be found in the improvements in the technique of advertising—as regards both the size of the public which can be reached by the printed word, and the methods of appeal.
The growth of newspapers and magazines having a circulation of millions of copies, and the art of the modern advertising expert in making the printed message attractive and persuasive, have placed the business man in a personal relation with a vast and diversified public.
Another modern phenomenon, which' influences the general policy of big business, is the new competition between certain firms and the remainder of the industry, to which they belong. Another kind of competition is between whole industries, in their struggle for a share of the consumer's dollar.
When, for example, a soap manufacturer claims that his product will preserve youth, he is obviously attempting to change the public's mode of thinking about soap in general—a thing of grave importance to the whole industry.
Or when the metal furniture industry seeks to convince the public that it is more desirable to spend its money for metal furniture than for wood furniture, it is clearly seeking to alter the taste and standards of a whole generation.
In either case, business is seeking to inject itself into the lives and customs of millions of persons. Even in a basic sense, business is becoming dependent on public opinion. With the increasing volume and wider diffusion of wealth in America, thousands of persons now invest in industrial stocks. New stock or bond flotations, upon which an expanding business must depend for its success, can be effected only if the concern has understood how to gain the confidence and good will of the general public.
Business must express itself and its entire corporate existence so that the public will understand and accept it. It must dramatize its personality and interpret its objectives in every particular in which it comes into contact with the community or the nation of which it is a part.
An oil corporation which truly understands its many-sided relation to the public, will offer that public not only good oil but a sound labor policy. A bank will seek to show not only that its management is sound and conservative, but also that its officers are honorable both in their public and in their private life. A store specializing in fashionable men's clothing will express in its architecture the authenticity of the goods it offers.
A bakery will seek to impress the public with the hygienic care observed in its manufacturing process, not only by wrapping its loaves in dust-proof paper and throwing its factory open to public inspection, but also by the cleanliness and attractiveness of its delivery wagons. A construction firm will take care that the public knows not only that its buildings are durable and safe, but also that its employees, when injured at work, are compensated. At whatever point a business enterprise impinges on the public consciousness, it must seek to give its public relations the particular character which will conform to the objectives which it is pursuing.
Just as the production manager must be familiar with every element and detail concerning the materials with which he is working, so the man in charge of a firm's public relations must be familiar with the structure, the prejudices, and the whims of the general public, and must handle his problems with the utmost care.
The public has its own standards and demands and habits. You may modify them, but you dare not run counter to them. You cannot persuade a whole generation of women to wear long skirts, but you may, by working through leaders of fashion, persuade them to wear evening dresses which are long in back. The public is not an amorphous mass which can be molded at will, or dictated to. Both business and the public have their own personalities which must somehow be brought into friendly agreement.
Conflict and suspicion are injurious to both. Modern business must study on what terms the partnership can be made amicable and mutually beneficial. It must explain itself, its aims, its objectives, to the public in terms which the public can understand and is willing to accept.
Business does not willingly accept dictation from the public. It should not expect that it can dictate to the public. While the public should appreciate the great economic benefits which business offers, thanks to mass production and scientific marketing, business should also appreciate that the public is becoming increasingly discriminative in its standards and should seek to understand its demands and meet them.
The relationship between business and the public can be healthy only if it is the relationship of give and take. It is this condition and necessity which has created the need for a specialized field of public relations. Business now calls in the public relations counsel to advise it, to interpret its purpose to the public, and to suggest those modifications which may make it conform to the public demand.
The modifications then recommended to make the business conform to its objectives and to the public demand, may concern the broadest matters of policy or the apparently most trivial details of execution. It might in one case be necessary to transform entirely the lines of goods sold to conform to changing public demands.
In another case the trouble may be found to lie in such small matters as the dress of the clerks. A jewelry store may complain that its patronage is shrinking upwards because of its reputation for carrying high-priced goods; in this case the public relations counsel might suggest the featuring of medium-priced goods, even at a loss, not because the firm desires a large medium-price trade as such, but because out of a hundred medium-price customers acquired to-day a certain percentage will be well-todo ten years from now.
A department store which is seeking to gather in the high-class trade may be urged to employ college graduates as clerks or to engage well known modern artists to design show-windows or special exhibits.
A bank may be urged to open a Fifth Avenue branch, not because the actual business done on Fifth Avenue warrants the expense, but because a beautiful Fifth Avenue office correctly expresses the kind of appeal which it wishes to make to future depositors; and, viewed in this way, it may be as important that the doorman be polite, or that the floors be kept clean, as that the branch manager be an able financier.
Yet the beneficial effect of this branch may be canceled, if the wife of the president is involved in a scandal. Big business studies every move which may express its true personality.
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It seeks to tell the public, in all appropriate ways,—by the direct advertising message and by the subtlest esthetic suggestion—the quality of the goods or services which it has to offer. A store which seeks a large sales volume in cheap goods will preach prices day in and day out, concentrating its whole appeal on the ways in which it can save money for its clients.
But a store seeking a high margin of profit on individual sales would try to associate itself with the distinguished and the elegant, whether by an exhibition of old masters or through the social activities of the owner's wife. The public relations activities of a business cannot be a protective coloring to hide its real aims. It is bad business as well as bad morals to feature exclusively a few high-class articles, when the main stock is of medium grade or cheap, for the general impression given is a false one.
A sound public relations policy will not attempt to stampede the public with exaggerated claims and false pretenses, but to interpret the individual business vividly and truly through every avenue that leads to public opinion. The New York Central Railroad has for decades sought to appeal to the public not only on the basis of the speed and safety of its trains, but also on the basis of their elegance and comfort.
It is appropriate that the corporation should have been personified to the general public in the person of so suave and ingratiating a gentleman as Chauncey M. Depew—an ideal window dressing for such an enterprise.
While the concrete recommendations of the public relations counsel may vary infinitely according to individual circumstances, his general plan of work may be reduced to two types, which I might term continuous interpretation and dramatization by highspotting. The two may be alternative or may be pursued concurrently. Continuous interpretation is achieved by trying to control every approach to the public mind in such a manner that the public receives the desired impression, often without being conscious of it.
High-spotting, on the other hand, vividly seizes the attention of the public and fixes it upon some detail or aspect which is typical of the entire enterprise. When a real estate corporation which is erecting a tall office building makes it ten feet taller than the highest sky-scraper in existence, that is dramatization.
Which method is indicated, or whether both be indicated concurrently, can be determined only after a full study of objectives and specific possibilities. Another interesting case of focusing public attention on the virtues of a product was shown in the case of gelatine. Its advantages in increasing the digestibility and nutritional value of milk were proven in the Mellon Institute of Industrial Research.
The suggestion was made and carried out that to further this knowledge, gelatine be used by certain hospitals and school systems, to be tested out there. The favorable results of such tests were then projected to other leaders in the field with the result that they followed that group leadership and utilized gelatine for the scientific purposes which had been proven to be sound at the research institution.
The idea carried momentum. The tendency of big business is to get bigger. Through mergers and monopolies it is constantly increasing the number of persons with whom it is in direct contact.
All this has intensified and multiplied the public relationships of business. The responsibilities are of many kinds. There is a responsibility to the stockholders—numbering perhaps five persons or five hundred thousand—who have entrusted their money to the concern and have the right to know how the money is being used. A concern which is fully aware of its responsibility toward its stockholders, will furnish them with frequent letters urging them to use the product in which their money is invested, and use their influence to promote its sale.
It has a responsibility toward the dealer which it may express by inviting him, at its expense, to visit the home factory. It has a responsibility toward the industry as a whole which should restrain it from making exaggerated and unfair selling claims. This is the first reprint of Propaganda in over 30 years and features an introduction by Mark Crispin Miller, author of The Bush Dyslexicon: Observations on a National Disorder.
His bombshell We want your feedback! Click here. Propaganda by Edward Bernays ebook. Subjects Business Politics Nonfiction. Business Politics Nonfiction. Publication Details Publisher: IG Publishing Publication Date: Edward Bernays Author Bernays applied the techniques he had learned in the CPI and, incorporating some of the ideas of Walter Lipmann, became an outspoken proponent of propaganda as a tool for democratic and corporate manipulation of the population.Any society, whether it be social, religious or political, which is possessed of certain beliefs, and sets out to make them known, either by the spoken or written words, is practicing propaganda.
With the parallel development of ever more sophisticated PR techniques and the digital revolution, the influencing mechanisms are getting closer and closer to the degree of perfection.
This is held annually at an important art gallery in New York, whose prestige with that of the distinguished judges, establishes the contest as a serious art event.
But he cannot be sure that some unexpected event will not overshadow this flight in the public interest, or that some other aviator may not do something more spectacular the day before. The new salesmanship has found it possible, by dealing with men in the mass through their group formations, to set up psychological and emotional currents which will work for him.
The means by which the public is apprised of the actions of his client are as varied as the means of communication themselves, such as conversation, letters, the stage, the motion picture, the radio, the lecture platform, the magazine, the daily newspaper.
Wells senses the vast potentialities of these inventions when he writes in the New York Times: Or a jewelry concern develops an insurance department to insure the jewels it sells, in order to make the downloadr feel greater security in downloading jewels.
Because he has decided that he wants the commodity called locomotion more than he wants the commodity called music? The soundness of a public relations policy was likewise shown in the case of a shoe manufacturer who made service shoes for patrolmen, firemen, letter carriers, and men in similar occupations.
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