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domingo, 7 de agosto de 2011

Perception Management [you really should read this]

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Perception management

 
is a term originated by the US military. The US Department of Defense (DOD) gives this definition:

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 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.[

1]

The phrase "perception management" has often functioned as a "euphemism" for "an aspect of information warfare." A scholar in the field notes a distinction between "perception management" and public diplomacy, which "does not, as a rule, involve falsehood and deception, whereas these are important ingredients of perception management; the purpose is to get the other side to believe what one wishes it to believe, whatever the truth may be."[2]

Perception management was also known as public diplomacy in the Ronald Reagan era; however, some people also argue perception management is now an accepted part of international strategic influence.

Perception management occurred as the Iraq war began. Word leaked out that a new Pentagon Office of Strategic Influence was gearing up to sway leaders and public sentiment by disseminating false stories. Facing public censure, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld publicly denounced and supposedly disbanded it. But, a few months later, he quietly funded a private consultant to develop another version. The apparent goal was to go beyond traditional information warfare with a new "perception management" campaign designed to "win the war of ideas"—in this case, against those classified as a terrorists.

The phrase "perception management" is filtering into common use as a synonym for "persuasion." Public relations firms now offer "perception management" as one of their services. Similarly, public officials who are being accused of shading the truth are now frequently charged with engaging in "perception management" when disseminating information to media or to the general public.

Although perception management operations are typically carried out within the international arena between governments, and between governments and citizens, use of perception management techniques have become part of mainstream information management systems in many ways that do not concern military campaigns or government relations with citizenry. Businesses may even contract with other businesses to conduct perception management for them, or they may conduct it in-house with their public relations staff.

As Stan Moore has written, "Just because truth has been omitted, does not mean that truth is not true. Just because reality has not been perceived, does not mean that it is not real."[citation needed]

There are nine strategies for perception management. These include:

  1. Preparation — Having clear goals and knowing the ideal position you want people to hold.
  2. Credibility — Make sure all of your information is consistent, often using prejudices or expectations to increase credibility.
  3. Multichannel support — Have multiple arguments and fabricated facts to reinforce your information.
  4. Centralized control — Employing entities such as propaganda ministries or bureaus.
  5. Security — The nature of the deception campaign is known by few.
  6. Flexibility — The deception campaign adapts and changes over time as needs change.
  7. Coordination — The organization or propaganda ministry is organized in a hierarchical pattern in order to maintain consistent and synchronized distribution of information.
  8. Concealment — Contradicting information is destroyed.
  9. Untruthful statements — Fabricate the truth.[3]

Contents

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[edit]Organizational Perception Management

Organizations use perception management in daily internal and external interactions as well as prior to major product/strategy introductions and following events of crisis. Life cycle models of organizational development suggest that the growth and ultimate survival of a firm is dependent on how effectively business leaders navigate crisis, or crisis-like, events through their life cycles.[4] As suggested by studies,[5][6]organizational perception management involves actions that are designed and carried out by organizational spokespersons to influence audiences' perceptions of the organization. This definition is based on the understanding of four unique components of organizational perception management: perception of the organization; actions or tactics; organizational spokespersons; and organizational audiences. The organizational perceptions is further classified into three major forms namely organizational imagesorganizational reputation, and organizational identities.[7]

Perception Management Events: Perception management is often used by an organization in the following major events:

1. Dealing with perception-threatening events: Include such events as scandals, accidents, product failures, controversial identity changes, upcoming performance reviews, and introduction of new identity or vision.

2. Dealing with perception-enhancing events: Include such events as positive/negative ranking or rating by industry groups, overcoming hardships, and achievement of desired goals.[7]

Following are the examples of perception management in relation to specific organizations or communities:

[edit]US Department of Defense

Deception and sleight of hand are important in gaining advantages in war, both to gain domestic support of the operations and for the military against the enemy. Although perception management is specifically defined as being limited to foreign audiences, critics of the DOD charge that it also engages in domestic perception management. An example cited is the prohibition of viewing or photographing the flag draped caskets of dead military as they are unloaded in bulk upon arrival in the U.S. for further distribution, a policy only recently implemented. The DOD also describes perception management as an intent to provoke the behavior you want out of a given individual.[citation needed] During the Cold War, the Pentagon sent undercover US journalists to Russia and Eastern Europe to write pro-American articles for local media outlets. A similar situation occurred in Iraq in 2005 when the US military covertly paid Iraqi newspapers to print stories written by US soldiers; these stories were geared towards enhancing the appearance of the US mission in Iraq.[8]

The US Air Force has used perception management with UFO/ET events by dropping flares and claiming it was a "misperception of their training activity". Years ago in Gulf Breeze Florida similar techniques were used where a fake UFO model was planted in a house.[9]

Domestically, during the Vietnam War, the Pentagon exaggerated communist threats to the United States in order to gain more public support for an increasingly bloody war. This was similarly seen in 2003 with the government's embellishment of the threat and existence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.[10]

More recently, the US government has used perception management techniques to promote the belief that weapons of mass destruction were indeed being manufactured in Iraq, and that Iraq had aided and assisted the Al-Qaeda terrorists responsible for the September 11, 2001 attacks upon the World Trade Center. These "facts" were, in part, the government's justification for invading Iraq and beginning the war. A man namedJohn Rendon has been very influential in creating the conditions necessary to justify the war in Iraq. Rendon's firm, the Rendon Group, has had close ties with the US government ever since 1991, when the CIAhired the firm to help "create the conditions for the removal of Hussein from power."[11]

Perception management includes all actions used to influence the attitudes and objective reasoning of foreign audiences and consists of Public Diplomacy, Psychological Operations (PSYOPS), Public Information, Deception and Covert Action.[12] The Department of Defense describes "perception management" as a type of psychological operation. It is supposed to be directed at foreign audiences, and involves providing or discarding information to influence their emotions, motives, and objective reasoning in a way that is favorable to the originator of the information. The main goal is to influence friends and enemies, provoking them to engage in the behavior that you want. DOD sums it up: "Perception management combines truth projection, operations security, cover and deception, and psychological operations."[13]

The US military has demonstrated using perception management multiple times in modern warfare, even though it has proven to take a hit to its credibility among the American people. In 2002, Defense SecretaryDonald H. Rumsfeld disbanded the Pentagon's Office of Strategic Influence. This office had been organized to provide false news items to unwitting foreign journalists to influence policymakers and public sentiment abroad. The Pentagon was criticized to create and to use a perception management office to influence foreign states at the time.[14]

More recently, the DOD has continued to pursue actively a course of perception management about the Iraq War. "The Department of Defense is conscious that there is an increasingly widespread public perception that the U.S. military is becoming brutalized by the campaign in Iraq. Recognizing its vulnerability to information and media flows, the DoD has identified the information domain as its new 'asymmetric flank.' "[15]

The level of use of perception management is continuing to grow throughout the Army. Until recently specialists, known as psychological operations officers and civil affairs officers, whose only purpose is to decide how to present information to the media and to the people of the current country that they are in only held positions in high division levels of command. The Army has decided that it is now necessary that these specialists be included in the transformed brigades and deal with "everything from analyzing the enemy's propaganda leaflets to talking with natives to see what the Army can do to make them their friends," said 3rd Brigade's Civil Affairs Officer Maj. Glenn Tolle. "[16]

[edit]US government

The US government already has checks in place to dissuade perception management conducted by the state towards domestic populations, such as the Smith-Mundt Act of 1948, which "forbids the domestic dissemination of U.S. Government authored or developed propaganda... deliberately designed to influence public opinion or policy".[17]

Perception management can be used as a propaganda strategy for controlling how people view political events. This practice was refined by US intelligence

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