Types of Propaganda

Types of Propaganda

Propaganda is a form of communication design to influence people thinking and actions or influence the attitudes of communities towards the desired action. Propaganda is a way of communication which used to influence people opinion with regards to a particular object, subjects, cause or any issue.

The word propaganda is often used for politicians in a very negative sense. The technique of the propaganda often rest upon the partial fact and make sentimentally charged messages to target the group of people. These kinds of technique make people think emotionally rather rational towards any issue or object. Propaganda has different techniques that can be used to influence people in a certain way.

We can understand the concept with a few examples but for that, we must understand the different techniques of using propaganda to influence the public.

  • Glittering Generalties
  • Name Calling
  • Plain Folk
  • Bandwagon
  • Transfer
  • Loaded Words
  • Misquoting
  • Assertion
  • False Dilemma
  • Slogans

These techniques have been used much time in the past. They used to be seen mostly in politics and communication given by the Government authorities or Elite classes who wanted people to perceive.

  1. The Indian Revolt of 1857

One of the glaring examples of British propaganda can be seen in the Indian Revolt of 1857, or the Sepoy Mutiny, as it was called by the British. The British media, in order to garner public opinion in favor of its continued rule in India, reported instances of many British women and children being raped by Indian rebels. There was little evidence to support this theory, as was later proved, but the accounts in the media, false though they were, helped in justifying the continued oppression of the Indians, by painting the natives as savages and barbarians, who needed ‘civilizing’ by the European colonials(Tilottama Chatterjee,marketingWit) .

  1. The Afghan War

Another, more recent example was the war in Afghanistan, where American strategy involved invoking sympathy of the Afghans by stressing the nefarious aspects of The Taliban and portraying Americans as ‘friends’. This was mainly done in order to garner public support and opinion, in an effort to overthrow the Taliban government and gain a foothold in its stronghold. It involved the dropping of thousands of leaflets across Afghanistan, offering rewards for the capture of the Al Quaeda chief Osama bin Laden, and promising American support and aid. Propaganda is viewed as an exceedingly important tool, and defense strategies and tactics use it extensively in their operations within enemy and home territory, with modifications, depending on the outcome they hope to achieve. The United States Psychological Operations (PSYOPS) has divisions within the army, navy and air force, their primary objective is to bring about behavior favorable to US aims and objectives. These PSYOPS units used it along with other strategies and tactics to achieve this goal, as was the case in the Afghan war – sowing the seeds of discontent among the locals to garner sympathy and further the American cause(Tilottama Chatterjee,marketingWit).

Types of Propaganda


  1. White Propaganda:- white propaganda does not hide its real origin or nature. It s a type of propaganda where the real author of particular information is clear and the purpose of that information is also distinct or transparent. Because of the author’s accountability towards its public, is suggested that white propaganda is often based on the facts. Although the whole truth often not told, it is not intentionally deceptive. Jacques Ellul a French philosopher in one of his major books talk about the White Propaganda, Propaganda: The Formation of Men’s Attitudes.

      white propaganda 2


  1. Black Propaganda:- it is a form of information that is spread by one source and is produced to look as if it has come from another source. It is convincing enough to be accepted as something other than what it really is. It is recognized to be fake. This propaganda requiring great knowledge and cultural understanding of the source which it is mimicking.

black propaganda

  1. Grey propaganda:- it is a type of propaganda where the correct source is never directly credited and the sponsor’s identity is concealed. Defined by its lack of clear source, the information contained in grey propaganda doe not mean have to be inaccurate. It could be true or false. The common practice of grey propaganda is to circulate an article in a publication without detailing source.

grey propaganda

Techniques of propaganda

  1. Bandwagon:- this technique involves influence people to think or act in the same way because others are doing so. It tells everyone how everyone is using the same product to the same ideology. This technique is often seen during election. People give vote to those candidates whom the majority seems to be supporting.


  1. Card stalking:- it is one of the seven techniques identified by the IPA or Institute Of Propaganda Analysis. Card stalking mainly used in advertising by highlighting the positive fact about the product and avoid negatives of the product. This usually uses in drugs and food advertisements effectively. It is a half-truth.  It involves only presenting information that is positive to an idea.

card stalkin

  1. Name Calling:- The technique used is such that it causes an audience to create a negative opinion about someone because of the bad opinions they hear of them. Used by politicians and product companies.


   4. Plain Folks:- this technique does its work in a way that the speaker and its audience have same views and opinions about something. It creates a sense of relationship between speaker and his/her audience which helps build belief in the idea.

pain folks

  1. Testimonial:- when a famous celebrity advertises certain views, they testified the ideas or the product. This is an effective technique to influence target audience in a particular way. When a celebrity endorses a certain view, it is more than likely that fans and followers endorse the same view.


  1. Transfer:- this technique involves making an illogical association between one thing and something else that is generally viewed as positive or negative. E.g. the American pioneers worked hard because they cared about the future. If you care about your family future then see your agent at Pioneer Insurance.


  1. Loaded words:- this technique involves using words with strong positive or negative connotations or associations. It uses words that are charged with emotions.

loaded words

Source:- manali Oak,marketingwit, https://marketingwit.com/types-of-propaganda-techniques

Edward Bernays

Edward Bernayspropaganda

Edward Bernays was known as the Father of PR. He was an Australian- American born on November 22nd, 1892- March 9th, 1995. He was a pioneer in the field of Public Relation and Propaganda. He did his graduation from Cornell. After his graduation, he wrote for The National Nurseryman Journal. He also worked for Louis Dreyfus & company reading grain cables. Bernays also worked as a creative press agent. He promoted the stage play called Daddy Long Legs by connected it with the cause of the charity of orphans. He was publicity director of The New York World’s Fair.

Edward vision was about a utopian ( it is an imagined society that possessed desirable and perfect qualities of life for its citizens.) society in which people libidinal energies can be challenged by elite and for economic benefit. He introduces the term ‘Masses’ who affected by their outside conscious understanding. Masses can be manipulated by propaganda technique easily. Here he emphasizes the term propaganda to gain the trust of the people.

Larry Tye a well-known Journalist wrote Biography of Edward Bernays called ‘The Future of Spin’ in 1999.

  • His Books:-

  1.  The Broadway Anthology (1917)
  2. Crystallizing public opinion (1923)
  3. Propaganda (1928)
  4. Public Relation (1945)
  5. The Engineering of Consent (1955)
  •  Major Public relation campaigns of Edward Bernays:-

  1. Cigarettes
  2. Water fluoridation
  3. Food
  4. Political Propaganda
  5. Hygiene
  6. The Arts


Four Models of PR

 Professor Todd Hunt and James E. Gruning developed the four models of Public Relation in 1984 that describes the sectors diverse management and organizational practices. This model serves guidelines to design a Programme and strategic planning for PR campaigning.

 Four models of Public Relations

Model Type of Communication Characteristics

Press Agent/

Publicity Model

One-Way Communication

This is a thematic one way communication model. Uses half-truth, manipulation to persuade target audience. They want to change audience thoughts according to organisational desire.

Public Information Model

One-Way Communication

PR acts as a Journalists. This is also a one-way communication. Uses press releases to disseminate information.

Two-Way Asymmetrical Model

Two-Way Communication

Presents more scientific persuasive way to communicating with the key audience. It is considered as Imbalanced model.

Two-Way Symmetrical Model

Two-Way Communication

Promote mutual understanding between organisation and its public. This is a most Ethical model.

1. Press Agent/ Publicity Model: Press Agent or Publicity Model is also known as Barnum Model. This model follows one-way communication from sender to receiver where sender is not much concerned about receiver’s feedback. This model talks about the importance of PR strategies through PR practitioners. PR experts manipulates the idea and thoughts of the key audience, shareholders, customers, inventors, investors, and other associated member of an organization. Their main focus is on to make their organisation’s image good in front of the public.

press agent model PR

They manipulate public according to the desire of the company. They make creative stories, thoughts, ideas to change the thinking of the public towards their makings and brands.

2. Public Information Model: Public Information Model flows from the Sender (Organization) to Receiver (Public, Target Audience, Employees). This model gives more importance on maintaining the image or goodwill of an organisation. PR experts disseminates useful information to the target audience. In this regard PR experts must be creative so that they can attract people attention towards their brands, services or product.PR experts often depends on Press Releases and News releases or even directly with mainstream media for circulating information to key audience.

public information model

3. Two- Way Asymmetrical Model: two- way asymmetrical model is a two-way communication but it is imbalanced in nature. This model is developed by Edward Louis Bernys. Through this model PR experts tries to influence Key people to think and act in a certain way as desired by their organization. They must do not think about the reaction of the Shareholders, Customers or their Public. They do not even put their more efforts on researches. This model particular popular in Advertising and Consumer marketing. It more uses Propaganda technique.

asymatrical model

4. Two- way symmetrical model: Two- Way Symmetrical model suggest that PR practitioner’s serve its public as a Liaison rather than a persuader. This model presents an ideal way of communication between an organisation and its public. It is a balanced in nature. This model benefits both the parties. This is an ethical model. Conflicts and misunderstanding can be resolved by mutual discussion and talk between bot the parties in more desired form. The feedback of the public (shareholders, investors, inventors, customers, etc.) also taken into consideration.

symatrical model



  1. Management Study Guide, https://www.managementstudyguide.com/public-relations-models.htm
  2. PressBooks, https://ohiostate.pressbooks.pub/stratcommwriting/chapter/four-models-of-public-relations/



RACE Model of Public Relation


RACE Model:- this model was propounded by John Marston in 1963. RACE is an Acronym where R– Research, A– Action, C– Communication, E– Evaluation.


RACE model can be used in the strategic planning of PR. Research is the very first step toward any marketing planning. Research brings out the SWOT ( Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, and Threat). Research is necessary to do before taking any further step. Insights of PR plannings are customer needs, target audience, demographics, what customers want, where they get all the information from ( TV, Newspaper, Magazines, etc.).

The next step is Action, this includes what information is needed to communicate and what action we should take while delivering the information. The information must be newsworthy. It must be related to what your target audience wants from you. The third step is Communication involving information and content to deliver. This talks about what information you are going to deliver in your action plan to the target audience with effective media. The last step is Evaluation. This is the most important step where you find out the effectiveness of content delivered to the target audience. It shows the result of your PR campaign and the effectiveness of the content.

The RACE model is very helpful to make any further plan for a PR campaign. PR is a dynamic process so always keep in mind the continuity of your planning, focus and attention to make the campaign effective.

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