From the beginning, the practice and profession of public relations has rarely had the best reputation, especially with regards to ethical practices.
Many individuals view PR practitioners as media manipulators or “spin-doctors at best, or liars at worst,” twisting a story for the betterment of the client. As public relations professionals, it is our job to create meaningful and honest relationships with our client and its publics. If that means creating a persuasive campaign, we can do it. However, the idea of persuasion and propaganda seem to go hand-in-hand.
Propaganda is defined as “the deliberate and systematic attempt to shape perceptions, manipulate cognitions and direct behavior to achieve a response that furthers the desired intent of the propagandist” (Exploring PR). In PR, “spinning” a story is viewed as a form of propaganda. Persuasion, however, is defined as “the process of communication designed to influence the judgments and actions of others”…
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