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Persuasive Communication


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This is a 20 minute presentation devised by myself and one other, which argues that can all Public Relations be seen as Propaganda as well as how can you tell if persuasion is ethical or not. We received 75% for this presentation

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Persuasive Communication

  1. 1. Persuasive Communication Ethics <br />Sam Brandon & Elliot Chang<br />
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  3. 3. Ethics<br />“The science of conduct. It considers the actions of human beings with reference to their rightness or wrongness.”<br />Mackenzie (2008) <br />“Ethics, as a branch of philosophy, is not just about what is right and wrong, its about what is good and what is bad. Ethics is about being good and that the practitioner’s task is to determine what a good action is.”<br />McElreath (1997)<br />
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  5. 5. Is all PR propaganda?How can you tell if persuasion is ethical or not? <br />
  6. 6. Weaver et al (2006)<br />“The real value of Propaganda lies not in the dissemination and promotion of ideas but in its ability to orchestrate public opinion and social action that supported the ruling elite”<br />1920 - Edward Bernays showed American corporations that he could make people want things they didn’t need by linking mass produced goods to their unconscious desires – Out of this came the political idea of how to control the masses. – American Tobacco Company.<br />
  7. 7. Public Relations & Propaganda<br />“Public Relations is the planned and persuasion to change adverse public opinion or reinforce public opinion and the evaluation of results for future use”<br />Grunig & Hunt (1984)<br /><ul><li>“Propaganda is the deliberate and systematic attempt to shape perceptions, manipulate cognitions and direct behaviour to achieve a response that further the desired intent of the propagandist”
  8. 8. Jowett & O’Donnell (1992)</li></li></ul><li>Grunig and Hunt 1984: Press Agent Model: propaganda used as promotion: a wrong use<br />propaganda<br />Public Relations<br />Propaganda tries to establish an ideology without any room for disagreement<br />propaganda<br />PR<br />
  9. 9. Oeckl et al. after the Second World War, when they wished to distinguish between the good public relations and the bad propaganda<br />propaganda<br />Public Relations<br />Bernays (USA) 1928 “The new propagandists are PR consultants”<br />Propaganda = PR<br />Propaganda is basically a type of message aimed at influencing the behaviour, opinions and decisions of people.<br />Public relations can be termed as a type of propaganda because it exaggerates the truth behind products and individuals.<br />
  10. 10. Steve Jobs Hitler<br />
  11. 11. Truth<br />The boundary between PR & Propaganda is vague<br />PR & Propaganda’s tactics, aims & resources can be the same<br />If what you're "spinning" has a solid basis in fact, you're doing PR. If not, it's propaganda. Plain and simple.<br />TARES<br />
  12. 12. PR or Propaganda<br /> James Grunig argued that when practiced ethically and responsibly, public relations provide a vital communication activity for the world, not only for organizations and nations.<br />  <br />He went further and said that public relations could help to develop an understanding among groups “and eventually reduce conflict.” <br />JacquieL’Etang in her insights into propaganda said that revealing and communicating underpinning values explicitly together with agendas “might therefore be an important part of distinguishing public relations and propaganda”.<br /> On the other hand, some scholars (e.g. Moloney, Fawkes) have explored notions of public relations as ‘soft propaganda’ and of the ‘ethics of propaganda’; some suggest public relations damages democracy by promoting the values of interest groups over those of society<br />
  13. 13. CIPR Code of Conduct <br />Members agree to:<br />Have honest and proper regard for the public interest<br />Maintain the highest standards of professional endeavour, integrity, confidentiality, financial propriety and personal conduct<br />Deal honestly and fairly in business<br />Check the reliability and accuracy of information before dissemination <br />Never knowingly mislead others <br />Work within the legal and regulatory frameworks affecting the practice of public relations <br />Support the CIPR Principles by bringing to the attention of the CIPR examples of malpractice and unprofessional conduct<br />
  14. 14. Case Study<br />
  15. 15. Maloney<br />“All Public Relations is<br />Soft Propaganda”<br />
  16. 16. Is all PR Propaganda?<br />
  17. 17. Summary<br />PR concerned with the truth<br />PR programmes influence consciously for the sake of interests and benefits<br />Propaganda is caused by powerful bedfollowers<br />It serves as a function that tells people what to think & how to behave where as PR is less intrusive<br />CHANGE<br />CRYSTALLIZE<br />CONSERVE (Bernays, 1923)<br />PR is persuasive communication but not necessarily manipulation<br />PR is persuasive communication but not necessarily manipulation<br />We should not fear propaganda – Free society<br />
  18. 18. How can we tell if Persuasion is Ethical?<br />Truthfulness<br />Authenticity<br />Respect<br />Equity<br />Social responsibility<br />
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  20. 20. Josephson’s 10 principles that form the basis of ethical life (1993)<br />Honesty<br />Integrity<br />Promise Keeping<br />Fidelity<br />Fairness<br /><ul><li>Caring for others
  21. 21. Respect for others
  22. 22. Responsible citizenship
  23. 23. Pursuit of excellence
  24. 24. Accountability</li></li></ul><li>Parsons five Pillars (2004)<br />These carry the weight of ethical decision making in PR<br />Veracity<br />Always tell the truth<br />Non-Malfeasance<br />Do no harm<br />Beneficence <br />Do good<br />Confidentiality <br />Respect Privacy<br />Fairness<br />To be fair & socially responsible<br />
  25. 25. Persuasion<br />“Because both the persuader & persuadee stand to have their needs fulfilled, persuasion is regarded more mutually satisfying than propaganda”<br />Jowett & O’Donnell 1992<br />“A successful intentional effort at influencing another’s mental state through communication in a circumstance in which the persuadee has some measure of freedom”<br /> O’Keefe 2002<br />
  26. 26. Cognitivism & Non-Cognitivism<br />Cognitivism<br />Moral truths <br /> Good/Bad<br />Right/wrong<br /><ul><li>Non Cognitivism
  27. 27. Right/Wrong
  28. 28. Subjective
  29. 29. Takes into account cultural contexts
  30. 30. (Tench & Yeomans 2009)</li></li></ul><li>Two types of Ethical theories:Consequentialist vs. Deontological Ethics<br />Consequentialism<br />e.g. Utilitarianism<br />an ethic of welfare<br />emphasis on the outcome of an action: benefit or harm?<br />good or bad outcomes determine right or wrong<br />the action is ‘good’ if the outcome is beneficial<br />Utilitarianism ‘greatest happiness’ principle<br />Non-Consequentialism<br />e.g. Kantianism<br />an ethic of duty<br />an action is right if performed for reasons of duty or principle<br />universality - “what if everyone behaved like that?”<br />respect of persons<br />You need to know<br />
  31. 31. Aristotle – Rhetoric in the Ethics of Persuasion<br />“We believe good men more fully and more readily than others……His character may almost be called the most effective means of persuasion he possesses” (Aristotle Cited in Perloff, 1993)<br />Ethos – The character of the speaker – Gordon Brown – Trust me<br />Pagos – The attitude of the audience – Cannot be demanded by the speaker<br />Logos – The nature of the message<br />Perfloff (1993) – 4 points by which<br />The audience evaluate the speaker<br />Expertise<br />Trustworthiness <br />Physical attractiveness<br />Similarity<br />
  32. 32. Who makes Ethical decisions?<br />War<br />Government<br />Parents<br />Religion<br />Peers<br />‘Is the public getting the information it wants and needs or are they getting more of what the institutions believe the public should have?’ (Dillard & Pfau, 2002)<br />
  33. 33. Trust & Credibility<br />Do the rhetoricians appear to you always to speak with a view to what is best, aiming at this, that the citizens may be made as good as possible by their discourses? Or do they, too, endeavour to gratify the citizens, and neglecting the public interest for the sake of their own private advantage?<br /> (Cary, 1854)<br />
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  35. 35. Advertising<br />Authenticity - Bias<br /> Manipulation <br />Burst/Drip Advertising<br />Money that people don’t have<br />
  36. 36. How can we tell if Persuasion is Ethical?<br />
  37. 37. Summary<br />Ethics in PR & Persuasion is important - TARES<br />Professionalism – Trust, Honesty & Integrity<br />People with integrity are the most highly regarded<br />Reputation<br />The industry will improve<br />
  38. 38. References<br />Bernays, E (1932) Crystallizing public relations. Kessinger Publishing<br />Cary, H. (1854) Plato: Works of Plato (Vol.1) London. H.G. Bohn<br />Dillard, J & Pfau, M (2002) The persuasion handbook: Development in theory and practice. Thousand oaks, California. Sage Publications.<br />Grunig, J & Hunt, T (1984) Managing Public Relations. Thomson Learning<br />Josephson, M (1993) Teaching ethical decision making & principled reasoning. Business ethics. Annual edition 1993-94. Guilford. Danskin Publishing Group<br />Jowett,G & O’Donnell, V (1992) Propaganda & Persuasion. California.Sage Publications<br />Mackenzie, J (2008) A manual of Ethics. London, Read Books<br />McElreath , M(1997) Managing systematic & Ethical Public Relation Campaigns. Madison, WN: Brown & Benchmark<br />O’keefe, D. (2002) Persuasion: theory & research. Thousand Oaks, California. Sage publications<br />Parsons, P (2004) Ethics in public relations. London Kogan Page<br />Tench, R & Yeomans, L (2009) Exploring Public Relations. Pearson Education Limited<br />Weaver, C. Motion, J & Reaper, J (2006) From Propaganda to Discourse: Truth, Power, the public interest & public relations. Public relations, critical debates and contemporary practice. Mahwah. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates<br />