Propaganda & Mass Persuasion: The Science of The Press

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

The Science of The Press

As we view public relations in the present, publicists utilize various tools to accomplish certain objectives for his or hers clients (athlete, actor, corporation etc.). The publicist must be able to think in and outside of the box to either sell the talents of actor or to generate support for an athlete who has fallen from grace (Alex Rodriguez). In a way, to create the ideal impact in public relations is like a science project in which chemicals are combined to make something useful (Clorox, Lysol, Mr. Clean). As modern public relation tactics were being created, one man understood the science behind the press, Walter Lippmann. His impact on public relations can be felt here in the present. We can understand the science behind public relations in the following:

"Modern leadership required specialists who would formulate how the press itself would cover a given issue. "[P]ublic opinions must be organized for the press if they are to be sound, not by the press as is the case." Political science was, for Lippmann the science that would frame public opinions for the press" (Ewen, PR!, 151).

Lippmann understood that individuals with special talents were needed in public relations because the methodology of the field was changing given the mediums to communicate with the masses (Newspapers, Magazines and Radio). So now we can understand how public opinion about a celebrity and or organization can be changed through innovative ways because science is all about thinking outside of the box.


Blogger A. Mattson said...

A good post. Yes, men like Lippmann and Bernays believed that a new class of expert was needed to manage public opinion in a modern complex democracy.

3/11/2009 10:31 PM  

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