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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Kelito Brigante rated it it was amazing Oct 15, Because then they are on the defensive. PR Laundering Box 3: Unveiling hidden Betnays practices Resisting suppression of public issues Trying not to be used to enhance the image of an industry Resisting corporate attempts to manipulate public debate Revaluing the role of conflict in the political process Box 1: But at home, Bernays was attempting to persuade his wife to kick the habit.

Engineering Of Consent

Cinsent seven other chapters were by his associates: Heather Kelly rated it really liked it Jun 09, By convincing people that they want something they do not need, Bernays sought to turn citizens and neighbors into consumers who use their purchasing power to propel themselves down the road to happiness. The Century of the Self. Promotional letters sent to business organisations, however, described the International Barometer somewhat differently: Nick rated it it was amazing Jun 16, The US beenays, for instance, repeatedly threatened to withhold its contributions to the World Health Organisation if it continued to meddle with ‘free enterprise’.

See also Richter, J.

Edward Bernays and the Engineering of Consent

Consebt management, the modern version of engineering of consent, is a similarly pro-active and systematic propaganda campaign based on intelligence gathering and on a thorough assessment of the socio-political situation. Archived from the original PDF on August 13, Not only had such coalitions lobbied at international and national levels for stricter regulation of transnational business; they had also researched and exposed publicly what they considered to be harmful business practices and used consumer boycotts to influence corporate practices.


Having seen how effective propaganda could be during war, Bernays wondered whether it might prove equally useful during peacetime.

Apr 10, D rated it really liked it. Ina Fortune editor, Herman Nickel, wrote an article, “The Corporation Negineering, which depicted critics as “Marxists marching under the banner of Christ”.

The research, published in as the report, Cracking the Codeconcluded that: 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.

Today, it comprises more than groups in over 90 countries.

As one of the most long-standing attempts to press for such corporate accountability, this campaign has significantly influenced the development of international issues management. To prevent, or at least limit, bernwys 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.

The meeting never took place because most of the organisations invited to attend, such as the World Council of Churches and the International Organisation of Consumer Unions, saw no need for such a meeting.

For Dixie cups, Bernays launched a campaign to scare people into thinking that only disposable cups were sanitary. The Inside of Public RelationsVol. One campaign was for a code of conduct to prevent the aggressive marketing of industrial substitutes for breastmilk and of other baby feeding products.

New coalitions are needed to work for national Freedom of Information Acts, and against structural censorship in the media. In the s, he promoted cigarettes as both soothing to the throat and slimming to the waistline. Because newspapers are dependent on cheap sourcing of editorial content and on advertising, and because ownership of beenays media and other industries is increasingly interlinked, it is easier for pre-packaged industry PR to make it into the headlines than for critical accounts of industry practices.


One of the major activities of issues managers is to prevent certain issues from becoming too public. As communication scientist Michael Kunczik points out, “public relations is also the art of camouflage and deception”. To deal with conflict, Cobsent formulated a “social awareness” concept, a term he preferred to “issue management”.

Yet greater exchange and new coalitions between industry critics from different movements — consumer, health, environmental, democratic media, social justice and women’s movements, for instance fngineering may conserve institutional resources.

To expand this data, he created what he called “the factual, objective and apolitical” International Barometer. A PR campaign which aims to recruit more donors for a non-profit consemt, for instance, will be very different connsent one motivated by a profit-oriented TNC in response to calls for better regulation of its activities.

Activists queried why the industry had asked for such a ‘dialogue’ in — after the boycott had been renewed — but not in at the time of the WHO resolution. Aronoff, authors of an authoritative PR textbook, believe that the diversity of public relations and the constant changes in the field make it, at most, a “moving target for definition”.

The manipulation of the American mind: Edward Bernays and the birth of public relations

Reversing the decline in breastfeeding could save 1. This could be seen as a real shift in industry accountability — if industry practices were to shift accordingly as well. Refresh and try again.