RE: Online Propaganda and Social Media





Dear Yushau,

I enjoyed reading your article on social media that appeared in some newspapers and on the internet. But I am not comfortable with your characterisation of propaganda as "a public relations tool." As you very well know, public relations is a two-way communication process that frowns at the reckless deployment of unverifiable

or deliberately disseminating information that is known to be false which propaganda is all about. Propaganda is also about corrupting the channels of communication as opposed to public relations that focuses on truthful communication of verifiable information to identifiable audiences.

 

During world wars 1 & 2, Hitler’s chief of propadanda, Dr. Geobbels, effectively deployed and perfected the use of false information to deflect attention from the real issues about the wars with the intent to deceive his audiences: scare and get them to act in a certain way. Whatever he did, he did it well. But it fell short of the professional standards of public relations. The process broke all the rules of public relations as it is known today. Edward Barnays, one of the early public relations practitioners in the United States who worked for the U. S Government, Procter & Gamble, tobacco companies an many other clients refused to work for Hitler on account of the propaganda methods Geobbels deployed to hoodwink his audiences.

 

Some contemporary public relations practitioners or simply media relations people in our midst today engage in propaganda but pretend to practise public relations. It is too obvious that from the massive deployment of unverifiable information, such people are simply targeting unsuspecting audiences to deceive and not to create understanding between their clients and their stakeholders. There is no doubt that the internet has proved to be a veritable tool for communication with a perfect mechanism for immediate feed back and cross-checking of information when in doubt. This is the hallmark of public relations. Propaganda is just propaganda, and it is in its own class. If Geobbels were alive today and wanted to do what he did the first time, the internet would make it impossible for him to achieve the same objectives.

 

There is no doubt that the internet serves     

 

Kabir Dangogo

CEO

Timex Communications (Nig) Ltd

64D, Drive 1, Prince & Princess Estate, Abuja Nigeria

Telephones: +234 803 300 4604, +234 802 307 4348

Website: www.timexng.com


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