Posted tagged ‘values’

Cut and Paste Society

26/05/2009

“…Perception management – Actions to convey and/or deny selected information and indicators to foreign audiences to influence their emotions, motives, and objective reasoning as well as to intelligence systems and leaders at all levels to influence official estimates, ultimately resulting in foreign behaviors and official actions favorable to the originator’s objectives. In various ways, perception management combines truth projection, operations security, cover and deception, and psychological operations…”

U.S. Department of Defence

I’ve just finished reading a fascinating novel that dealt, in the extreme, with perception management, a distant and dubious relative of public relations.

Perception Management is a form of communication that involves taking a completely false position and presenting it as the truth. In the novel, the fictional Chinese and Russian Governments are brought to the brink of war by the manipulation of a corrupt arms dealer on the basis that such brinkmanship will see both parties placing vast arms orders.

Of course that is fiction but in fact, perception is a highly flexible commodity and communicators need to be highly ethical in the way they seek to influence.

Watching Britain’s Got Talent I am struck by the power of TV editors and how they can influence perception. Watch the credits to see how many people are deployed to undertake this task. The edited sequence shows an eminent judge pronouncing that “this is the most important day of his life, it is make or break for his career” and then the contestant saying “I don’t know what I will do if I lose, it will be the end of the road.” Now forgive me for believing that a ventriloquist act might just survive such an ordeal and whilst the arena tour will be no more, the social club circuit might just still be wiling to pay a few pounds for such an act to see another day.

Maybe comparing the seriously devious military definition of perception management with a talent show is a bit misleading but Bodyproject believes that all communication is about upholding reputation and therefore it has to be explicitly honest, ethical and that modern day editors need to ensure they present output within those absolute values.

Please contact us to learn more about the Bodyproject approach to communications.