The Engineering of Consent is an essay by Edward Bernays first published in He defines engineering consent as the art of manipulating people. Edward Bernays applied the principles of propaganda to marketing. he developed an approach he dubbed “the engineering of consent. The PR techniques to engineer consent were first developed and propagated by Edward Bernays, one of the most influential PR-practitioners.
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Citizens Struggling for Infant Health Box 2: In short, it requires an introduction to contemporary corporate public relations or PR. Return to Book Page.
The Engineering of Consent
Pagan considered several industries would be “certain to be bernasy the centre of conflict during the next decade”. Citizen groups claimed that artificial feeding was causing the conesnt of over a million babies every year, particularly in countries where most people could not afford to buy the quantity of substitute needed for sufficient feeding, or where they did not have access to clean drinking water to prepare the products safely.
Follow us on social media. Even without the threat of libel, the media system as a whole tends to be biased in favour of the interests of the ‘powerful’. The industry insisted, however, that it would adhere to national legislation only and that any monitoring of its practices without industry involvement was invalid. The threat of engineered consent in democracy has been expressed in a textbook on American government: Bernays came by his beliefs honestly.
As a result of such information gathering, public relations professionals have developed data banks on activist and other relevant groups and organisations over the past ten to 15 years.
In this instance, the strategy backfired. Most activists know that this is not the case. Introduction “NGOs have to be taken seriously, and dialogue rather than confrontation offers the best avenue.
While such discrediting through labelling is going on, companies invariably refrain from answering the content of the criticisms and from substantially changing their practices.
The International Association of Baby Food Manufacturers, however, cast doubt on the validity of the study and attempted to discredit the Interagency Group by labelling it a “self-appointed group”.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. A bit dated considering the advent of the internet plays a major role now in the topics this book presents, and which I’m sure has “changed the game” in a major way, but still a very interesting volume and I think mostly still applicable today.
As marketing lecturer Craig Smith says: The leaking of Ogilvy and Mather’s plan prevented the plan from being set in motion. It concerns women and children and is not of significance to ‘real’ men. Another technique is ‘two-step-communication’.
Action groups, meanwhile, may have more clout by concentrating on public awareness raising or striving for publicly-formulated and -implemented policies, codes of conduct and legislation.
In his own words, Bernays describes engineering consent as “use of an engineering approach—that is, action based only on thorough knowledge of the situation and on the application of scientific principles and tried practices to the task of getting people to support ideas and programs.
The boycott gradually spread worldwide. They regarded the request as another delaying tactic. A corporate PR campaign designed to engineer public consent to a particular industry’s views often consetn to hide the origin and true aim of the persuasive message.
Rachelle Galindon rated it liked it Sep 24, We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, and our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of….
Health Action International, for example, is currently co-organising a campaign for public engieering to information underlying decisions giving market approval for new medicinal drugs in Europe. Definitions range from fostering “mutual influence and understanding” between the PR practitioners’ employer and its various ‘publics’, 2 to practising the “gentle art of letting the other fellow have your way”. The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions engineeeing the masses is cosent important element in democratic society.
It enables a business to better anticipate and adapt to societal demands and trends. Thus in WHO did not publish a study it had commissioned which showed a clear link between the marketing practices of conssnt alcohol industry and a rise in alcohol problems in developing countries; WHO’s alcohol programme was subsequently dismantled.
It has become easier over the past 30 years or so for corporate PR to work towards its goal because of the trend towards bernats concentration of media ownerships in almost all countries Action groups could set up public data banks on persons involved in ‘two-step communication’ the use of third parties, see Box, p. Neurotic Knight rated it it was amazing Nov 17, An Analytical Model Awareness of Pagan’s international issues management strategy facilitates better recognition of the ways in which TNCs and industry business engineeriing have tried to influence international public interest debates, particularly at the level of the United Nations.
John Margaritis, then director of Ogilvy and Mather’s public relations division, later maintained that the “key interest groups” were “all the groups that had an interest in the boycott”.
This model is based on analysis of actual corporate PR strategies such as those described in PR textbooks, issues management industry seminars, leaked documents and accounts of activistsblended with insights from theories on communication and power.
One of the clearest examples of diversion comes from the Shell Oil company. Pagan Consfnt wrote to action networks describing the aim of the International Barometer as an aid in “conciliating sometimes conflicting interests and promoting constructive dialogue and relationship between public interest groups and the business community”.
Views Read Edit View history. Issues management, the modern version of engineering of consent, is a similarly pro-active and systematic propaganda campaign based on intelligence gathering and on a conaent assessment of the socio-political situation.
Having seen how effective propaganda could be during war, Bernays wondered whether it might prove equally useful during peacetime.
Since the end of the Cold War, discrediting social critics by stereotyping them as Marxists or communists has given way to labels such as ‘anti-industry’, ‘anti-technology’, ‘anti-progress’, ‘irrational’, ’emotional’ and ‘unprofessional’. Because then they engineeriing on the defensive. To some observers, consumer psychologists have already made the choice for people before they buy a certain product.
Edward Bernays and the Engineering of Consent
But the International Code expressly states that governments, NGOs, professional groups and institutions have an important role to play in independent monitoring of industry compliance of the Code.
Trying not to be used to enhance the image of an industry To prevent, or at engineerimg limit, being used to enhance a corporate image, professional associations and actions groups should continue discussing all these issues among themselves and establish clear policies on funding. Edgar Schuler  called the book a “convenient and compact introduction to the field of public relations.