Propaganda Essay Extract

Well, I know that all animations for cutscenes for the team project were meant to be done on Wednesday, but turns out we’d all forgotten about one that needed to be done, so I’ve been working on that little snazzy thing tonight. I wish I could show you more, but I’d prefer to once I’ve gotten it looking more clearly put together. In the meantime, here’s an extract from my propaganda essay, all 3000 words of which (exactly on the wordcount, booyah!) were written up a couple of weeks ago in full. It’s a dull kinda read, very academic, but if yer into your propaganda you might like it. It’s just an introduction, not posting the whole thing on here for fear of plagarism, innit?

[Image courtest of]


It is imperative, in modern society, to scrutinize the integrity of all information we receive from any form of media. Manipulated messages are disseminated from countless sources through every form of media, from everyday commercials from big business to more politically sinister fabricated stories planted in printed publications, all competing to be heard amongst a sea of similarly carefully constructed messages, engineered to manipulate mass opinion in some way. In an attempt to convey these messages immediately a visual shorthand is often fashioned around the message through a utilisation of cultural imagery and symbols. PR commentator Kevin Moloney describes this as a:

“…globalised struggle for symbolic resonance and moral authority in which governmental actors are competing with the communicative campaigns of hostiles.” (2006, p44)

This “symbolic” element can be assembled from any number of sources, from myths, or previously constructed cultural denotations, but ultimately a symbol’s significance is allocated by those constructing the message, rendering symbols a malleable vessel for communication. This development of icons and imagery to connote meaning was catalysed in big business in America, over the course of the 20th century, with the development of global corporate branding techniques. Now these techniques have worked their way into political systems worldwide, raising the question; if we look at modern businesses and corporate PR will this preclude similar developments in how contemporary nations construct their identities through their own PR?

In the early days of corporate America the influence was reversed, with businesses in the 1920s taking influence from the US government’s promotion of American war efforts in the previous decade, in particular the highly effective Creel Committee. For one of the first times in American history dissemination of information was fashioned as a purely emotive appeal to the masses. This correlates with a definition of PR given by Moloney (2006, p41); “low factual and cognitive content in relation to high emotional content” additionally defining PR as involving “one-way communications flow.”


Listening to: Flamenco Sketches by Miles Davis


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