communication – information or manipulation?

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Throughout history, communication has been used as a tool to manipulate both individuals and the masses. On an everyday basis we use it to convince people about our views, to persuade  them to either accept our ideas or to take some action. But can we use communication simply to inform, to clarify, to understand? Is listening part  of communication? If so, how many of us really consider all the steps of communication? How can we use communication in a positive way, to understand our audiences and inform accordingly?

This following documentary is about the work of Sigmund FreudAnna Freud, and Edward Bernays influenced the way corporations and governments  sought to control ‬people. Edward Bernays, is considered “the father of PR” and “the father of spin”. This series reveals a great deal about his approach, how he used PR to manipulate people into adopting the ideas of his clients.

He believed that propaganda and news were legitimate tools of his business, and he was able to offer philosophical justifications for these beliefs that ultimately embraced the whole democratic way of life.

An example of one of his most famous campaigns was in the 1920s, working for the American Tobacco Company. He sent a group of young models to march in the New York City parade  and told press that a group of women’s rights marchers would light “Torches of Freedom.” On his signal, the models lit Lucky Strike cigarettes in front of the  photographers. This ultimately helped to break the taboo against women smoking in public.