Propaganda And Public Relations? Essay

839 Words Oct 20th, 2014 4 Pages
“Propaganda” has taken on a negative connotation over the centuries. From the times of industrialization, to the red scare, to war, propaganda has been with the public in hopes of persuasion and presenting new or different ideals. The question is: what are the influences of propaganda and public relations? Are their powers, and their impacts, directly positive or negative? In the cases of Michael Schudson and Edward Bernays, it depends on whom you ask. Publicity agent Edward Bernays’ book Propaganda (2005) reaches out to inform the public on matters of propagating and public relations. As he shows the influences of propaganda in modern society, and outlines its “gradually evolving code of ethics,” (Bernays 2005, 18) Bernays’ audience is presented with a tame view of public relations and advertising. Introducing the revolution of government and the public, he mentions power “passed from the king and the aristocracy to the bourgeoisie” (Bernays 2005, 19). Continuing, he describes the transition from being subjects to free people with liberties and “universal suffrage” stating “even the bourgeoisie stood in fear of the common people” (Bernays 2005, 19). Here, Bernays forces readers to look at society from the perspectives of businesses, politicians, small groups of people in power and places them on the opposing side of the robust and connective power of the people. If looking upon this liberated society with the belief of power in numbers, businesses and politicians find…

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