Should the MoD start using propaganda to try to win the hearts and minds of the population to try to gain support for the war in Afghanistan or continue losing the war on both fronts?
Currently, the only real notable news coming out of the Ministry of Defence is the regular flow of saddening news of another British fatality; but how much bad news can a population take? The public relations effort adopted by the MoD and other NATO countries is doing the war in Afghanistan no good at all; unless of course you’re a member of the Taliban! Their supporters hear news every day of another NATO death.
I understand the alliances decision not to publicise the deaths of Taliban fighters and insurgents, but now, more than ever is the time to start issuing ‘positive’ news items. Yes, we occasionally hear about a village blossoming back to life, but those types of stories are 1 in over 300 – sadly!
We need to start understanding what impact NATO forces are having on the people they are fighting. Are we winning this war or not, or are things really as bad as they seem to be publicised?
As someone who works within the PR sector I can’t support the use of bad propaganda, but good propaganda I can. Good propaganda is not lying or even bending the truth, it’s about reporting truthful facts to achieve a positive and desired result – PR!
Let the people you say you are protecting know about your successes and maybe, just maybe they will understand that the journey to achieving the end-result is really worth it. Let the people who you want onside know about the victories being achieved – positive news achieves positive perception.
This blog isn’t about taking sides – I haven’t earned the right to question the efforts of the NATO forces or question their sacrifices. This blog is about how I believe propaganda can and should be used in a positive way to achieve the end result of letting people clearly understand what the situation is and what impact our forces are having – both in terms of military success and local development.
So, is good propaganda effective? Yes, if used for the greater good! And should the MoD starting using it – yes – absolutely and immediately! After all the true meaning of good propaganda is good public relations!