Perception Management (PM)

baldacci.JPGAn interesting concept. Apparently the US Department of Defense has a definition of PM in one of its manuals; and many public relations firms offer PM as one of their services. According to David Baldacci in an author’s note in his recent book, The Whole Truth:

PMs are not spin doctors because they don’t spin facts. They create facts and then sell them to the world as the truth. An that, to quote then venerable Mark Twain (who wouldv’e had a field day with the PM guys), is the difference between the lightning bug and lightning… using these methods, a major untruth can be established so quickly and overwhelmingly across the world that no digging by anyone after the fact can make a dent in the public consciousness that it actually isn’t true at all. And that’s precisely what makes it so dangerous.

Thanks, David, for a great summer thriller and illustration of how the net can further PM in a nanosecond. Discerning what is true (facts) and finding quality information will always be a challenge and information professionals will always have a role in the process and in teaching others to beware.

I heard David speak at a conference in 2005, and was very impressed and when I learned about his foundation, Wish You Well Foundation, and all the good work he does, I was even more impressed. Not only a good writer with great reads (love his books), he is a good man. Check him out.

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