Public Relations, PR, is the process of presenting the face of an organization or individual. Usually to articulate its objectives and official views on issues of relevance primarily to the media. PR contributes to the way an organization or person is perceived by influencing the media and maintaining relationships with stakeholders. According to Dr. Jacquie from Queen Margaret University, ‘Public relations professionals can be viewed as discourse workers specializing in communication and the presentation of argument and employing rhetorical strategies to achieve managerial aims.”
How do Public Relations professionals achieve their goals? Depending on what they are trying to achieve, the following tactics are commonly used:
Audience Targeting. The first step is to identify the group to whom the message is targeted.
Creating a consistent story. A story must be communicated that is consistent. This is commonly called the “Spin”.
Social Media. Social Media is maximized to deliver the message.
Maximize communications. During a legal dispute, PR is given the task to tell their client’s side of the story.
Endorsements. Doctors, celebrities and other ‘experts’ are used to sway public opinion.
Surveys and polls. Surveys and polls are carefully set up to elicit desired public opinions.
Edward Bernays is considered to be the ‘Father of Public Relations’. He was born in Vienna in 1892 and grew up in New York City. He devised and developed many techniques for influencing public opinion. Over the years, he was instrumental in the formation of many of the opinion-shaping methods used today. He used these methods on behalf of many businesses, individual enterprises and government both at home and abroad.
Mr. Bernays was a nephew of Sigmund Freud and no doubt learned a lot about psychology from his uncle. He used endorsements from celebrities, doctors and other “experts” to strengthen the stories his clients wanted to tell. He favored surveys, polls, and results of experiments to make a better case for his client’s positions and products.
One of his clients was Lucky Strike Cigarettes. He was instrumental in making it acceptable for women to smoke in public. He depicted debutantes gathered on street corners smoking Lucky Strike cigarettes and even called the cigarettes “torches of freedom.” The campaign also promoted cigarettes for weight loss with the slogan; “Reach for a Lucky Strike instead of a sweet.” Hollywood actors including Douglas Fairbanks endorsed Lucky Strike because the tobacco was of superior quality. The sale of cigarettes increased by 300% after the campaign.
Mr. Bernays accumulated an impressive list of clients such as The Waldorf Astoria, Proctor and Gamble, Continental Baking Company, General Electric, General Motors, Philco, Westinghouse, CBS and NBC.
Using his knowledge and skills in psychology, he helped establish proven criteria for formulating public opinion on behalf of his clients. Ann Douglas, a professor of English and comparative literature at Columbia University wrote that in the era of the 1920’s; “Freud was the chosen mentor of Madison Avenue,” and “Edward Bernays, often called the ‘father of public relations,’ who orchestrated the commercialization of a culture, was Freud’s nephew and a self-conscious popularizer of his thoughts.” There is no doubt Public Relations practitioners since that time have played a major role in sending Americans on a never-ending pursuit of materialism.
Not only is PR used to sell us material goods, it is used by our media, our politicians, and our government both local and national. The problem is that ‘we the people’ get caught in the cross hairs between the ‘truth’ and the spin.
Ethics of PR are highly unregulated. Some practitioners voluntarily adhere to a code of ethics and conduct espoused by their associations, but ‘We the People” have been misled so many times, a recent poll indicated only 20% of us believe the PR we hear is credible.
According to Dr. David Hawkins in his book Power Vs Force, the biggest problem we as humans face is our inability to know truth from falsehood. We are innately naive. It is said; “It is not what you do not know that gets you into trouble…..It is what you absolutely know, that isn’t so.” So, what do we do to protect ourselves and our society from the falsehoods that are promoted? How do we determine what is truth from falsehood?
One of the most important guiding principles is to know that happiness always comes from within. It will never come from anything or anyone outside of us. So although the PR shows happiness comes from acquiring ‘things’, your higher self knows that cannot happen. When you know who you are and you live a life that is in alignment with your core values, happiness springs from within. You cannot chase after it, it springs from within. This is not to say, that pleasure cannot be had through use of things our money can buy. It is to say that true and lasting happiness cannot come from those things. Always remember, true and lasting happiness springs of its own accord from within.
Years ago I heard a story about a big Tom cat and a little kitten. One day the kitten was busy chasing its tail around and around. The Tom cat asked; “What are your doing?” The little kitten responded; “I’ve been told happiness is in my tail and I’m trying to catch it.” To which the Tom cat replied; “That is right…..happiness is in your tail. But you can never chase it to catch it. I just do the best I can to be the kind of cat my heart tells me to be and happiness follows me where ever I go.”
Dr. Hawkins uses kinesiology to determine truth from falsehood. Your higher self knows all there is to know and will respond to the kenesiologic test. If you have not read Dr. Hawkins books, I highly recommend them. If you don’t understand how to use kinesiology to determine the truth, Jesus taught; “By their fruits ye shall know them.” Use integrity and honesty as your guide. Ask yourself, “Does this person have integrity and is he/she honest?” If they are honest and Integrous, you are pretty safe in listening to them because their ideas will be in alignment with truth. On the other hand if the person has a reputation for dishonesty and is lacking integrity, chances are their ideas are not in alignment with truth.
For now, Earlynn’s just sayin’: “Don’t fall for the PR that bombards you every day in print, social media and video. Be confident in knowing you have within you total control of your own happiness and never forget God is over all.”
If you’d like your own copy of Earlynn’s book, Transformed, just click on the above tab, Earlynn’s Book, to order your copy. Thank you. Gloria! In Excelsis Deo!”