Sunday, March 10, 2013

Crisis Communications: The Propaganda Effect

One paradox of Public Relations is that "PR is most effective when it is not perceived as PR."  Some organizations, especially government agencies, face what I call the propaganda effect in that anything communicated is perceived as biased and designed to elicit some sinister agenda.
In a recent conversation with the PR Director of a government agency, I shared that given the current sentiments towards the government, this propaganda effect was inevitable.  What she can do to lessen the effect was to:
(a) tone down the rhetoric by using subtle/ indirect messaging; and
(b) establish her communication platform's neutrality in the eyes of the target audience by also communicating neutral information.
Overall, while these strategies will not convert the hard-core conspiracy theorists, it will however win over the rational middle-ground that make-up the majority.

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