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Valeria,

I could not agree more. When I teach, this is the first part of defining public relations, with an emphasis on the prospect of strengthening relationships.

Public relations is the art and science of developing and managing immediate and long-term measurable programs that strengthen relationships between the organization and various publics ...

Propaganda is much more in line with advertising, but not necessarily the intent of the communication.

All my best,
Rich

What a terrific topic! I'd say the role of PR doesn't necessarily involve manipulation anymore, but has transformed to be a participatory initiative that "guides" the conversation. Though I admit the propaganda focused attitude is still hard to shake some companies from who lean on an extremist view of their brand and message. People don't respond to that anymore.

Your questions are dead on for what people should be asking themselves, and your presentation looks incredible with all the contrasting propaganda posters. Good luck at the conference!

The catch is that the relationships that separate PR from propaganda are between customers and decision-makers; the communicators are just an intermediary.

If there isn't a system in place where the communicators bring valid customer questions to the decision-makers and get either an explanation or an authentic "we're going to look closer at that and move things around", then all the communicators can do is propagandize. There's no PR, because there's no relationship.

And yes, that does mean that many communicators have been doomed to propaganda by the organizations they work for.

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