PR Rogues Gallery

PR Rogues Gallery

Periodically this blog looks at the media machinations of dictators, despots and the desperate to expose the dark side of PR, or at least how it’s practiced by morally corrupt governments. Nowhere is this violation of accepted PR practice more prominent than in the Middle East (though Russia could give most countries in that region […]

Take the Bait, Pay the PRice

On this day when America honors its war heroes, we’re awakened to news of an “Israeli attack” on six vessels carrying “humanitarian aid” to the terrorist-controlled Gaza Strip. Presumably the decision by Israel’s cognoscenti to militarily confront this Security Council member-sponsored flotilla, was not made lightly…or was it? The Israelis no doubt weighed the PR […]

Words or Deeds?

Words or Deeds?

“To put it simply, we need to worry a lot less about how to communicate our actions and much more about what our actions communicate.” This assessment of America’s efforts to counter extremist Islamist ideology comes from Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (pictured above). He astutely notes that deeds, not […]

CCTV (Command-and-Control TV)

CCTV (Command-and-Control TV)

It goes without saying that unfiltered, real-time, citizen-generated news reports often serve as the first write of history. In New York Magazine‘s wary look at Twitter this week, the reporter happened to be sitting in Twitter’s offices as US Air 1549 dropped into the Hudson River: “And then I noticed something on Twitter Search. The […]

Will The Pentagon Go Social?

Will The Pentagon Go Social?

The Associated Press moved a piece yesterday on The Pentagon’s growing PR spend: “Pentagon increases spending on public relations,raising concern about propaganda.” The AP’s comprehensive investigation revealed that: “…over the past five years, the money the military spends on winning hearts and minds at home and abroad has grown by 63 percent, to at least […]

Inauthentic Generals

Inauthentic Generals

As one agency trumpets its new mantra of “authenticity,” we learn today just how deeply our government has subverted authenticity to sell its war-time policies. In a 7600-word investigative piece on page A1 of today’s New York Times, reporter Doug Barstow outlines the extent to which this administration took (fairly standard) public relations techniques and […]

Truth of False

Truth of False

In a recent meeting with an environmental NGO, I was asked how far I might recommend the organization go to create news, i.e.., how outrageous or incendiary should their statements or actions be in order to garner headlines? I admitted that sometimes it’s necessary to create a little theatre to break through the clutter. But […]

Propagandist(s)

Propagandist(s)

Last week, I happened to catch one of the unfair and imbalanced Bill O’Reilly’s “Talking Points Memo” segments (not to be confused with the pilfered name of Joshua Mica Marshall’s influential blog). This particular one-sided O’Reilly diatribe railed against George Soros. (A few days earlier, it was Bill Moyers.) In the Soros segment., the host […]