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13.04.2014 Feature Article

TIPS ON PROPAGANDA

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Definition: "Propaganda is the systematic dissemination of information especially in a biased or misleading way in order to promote a political cause or point of view."Oxford dictionary

The basic connotation of propaganda is mass communication or dissemination of information arguments, or rumours to influence public opinion.

The task of party propaganda is to help members and functionaries of the party at all levels to master its ideology and vision. Politics and propaganda are bound together. Good politics always needs good propaganda. It helps in transforming public opinion to conform to a premeditated political agenda.

The communists called propaganda indoctrination.
Origin: The term was first used in 1622 when Pope Gregory XV issued the Sacra Congregation de Propaganda Fide (Congregation of the Protection of the Faith) to counter the growing Protestant threat in order to 'conquer by spiritual arms' those areas lost to the church in the debacle of the 16th C.

Synonyms: Misinformation, half truths, party line
The main goal of propaganda is to persuade the masses.

TASKS, AIMS, OBJECTIVES OR PURPOSE OF PROPAGANDA

-- Propaganda is designed to manipulate others beliefs and induce action in the ineterest of the propagandist by drilling the message into the listeners heads.
-- It involves the use of images and slogans and symbols to play on prejudices and emotions.
-- It may aim at one's own people or at members of other groups.
-- It can be designed to agitate the population or pacify it.
-- It is often directed at those who are already sympathetic to the message in order to help them overcome their discomfort.
-- It must transform ideas into reality through the subconscious.
-- It speaks to the emotions rather than pure understanding.
-- It strives for long term effects.
-- It must achieve continuing understanding of the masses.
-- The essential task of propaganda is to use psychological skills to create a favourable atmosphere. "When the heart resists, the mind will not accept."
-- Propaganda is only meaningful and believable when it can show positive results.
-- It is the proclaimer of idea.
-- It undrmines the positions of the enemy or opponent.
-- It stands in the middle of life, in the middle of events and draws the necessary consequences.
-- Whether the means of propaganda are proper or it serves the facts or ideas are irrelevant.
-- It is to explain to the people new ways and ideas to interest masses in events and to win their cooperation.
-- It awkens the masses.
-- It is aimed at persuading the masses.
-- Advertising praises goods; propaganda spreads ideas.

STRATEGIES FOR A SUCCESSFUL PROPAGANDA
-- Environment: The propagandist must attempt to create a climate in which the message is more likely to be believed.
-- Credibility: The messenger is as important as the message. The message must be conveyed by a likable or authoritative communicator.
-- Simplicity: the message should be focused on simple achievable goals. Keep it simple.
-- Simplicity is the key to the emotional and mental world of the masses.
-- The message should arouse the emotions of the recipient and provide a targeted response.
-- The masses are mostly extraordinarily forgetful and their understanding less than that of the learned.
-- Propaganda had to be made not to please the learned but rather to reach the masses.
-- It must be carried in a unified and disciplined way.
-- Propaganda is only concerned with its goal, its justice its truth.
-- The more consistently, the more uniformly propaganda is applied, the greater will be its success and the sooner success will come.

QUALITIES OF A GOOD PROPAGANDIST
-- The propagandist must think subjectively, one sidedly.
-- He must avoid objectivism.
-- He needs not weigh right or wrong.
-- He needs not worry if there might be some slight truth on the enemy's side.
-- He must always side with his party.
-- He often conceals his identity or purpose in order to distract the public.
-- The propagandist must understand the characteristics of his masses.
-- He must exhibit Doublethink: "The holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simoulteneously and accepting both of them. to tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them."(George Orwell)
-- He must exhibit Newspeak."Political language designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable."
-- The propagandist is a party teacher.

GENRES OF PROPAGANDA
White Propaganda: From a correctly identified source and it is intentionally deceptive.
Black Propaganda: It is purposefully deceptive in giving the impression that the source is friendly.
Gray Propaganda: It is one that falls in between the two above.

REFERENCES:
Schulze Wechsungen, "Political Propaganda"
Michael Carmic, "Propaganda and the Politics of Perception"
Eric Brahm, "Propaganda"

Paramza Kofi Hamza
Paramza Kofi Hamza, © 2014

The author has 27 publications published on Modern Ghana. Column Page: ParamzaKofiHamza

Disclaimer: "The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author(s) and do not neccessarily reflect those of Modern Ghana. Modern Ghana will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article."

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