I spent a fair bit of my career in marketing. I often said “marketing is like drumming, everyone thinks they can do it”. In today’s 7x24 social media world any one can be a critic. In it’s April 27, 2017 print edition, The Economist ran an article “The declining quality of Venezuela’s Propaganda” (see: http://econ.st/2oUcdHF, which is also the photo source).
The article addresses how even a totalitarian regime can fall on its sword when it comes to Social Media. Nicolas Maduro, the country’s president is trying to paint a positive picture of life there, much to the dismay and consternation of Venezuelans.
The power of images is reflected in the comments noted in the article. In particular pictures of obviously well-fed government officials does not play well in a country where poverty and food shortages have flourished in the past two years.
From a PSYOP/MISO perspective the message is pretty clear – you can’t turn an elephant into a giraffe. Influence campaigns need to be grounded in truth. Campaigns that are predicated on falsehoods will be quickly exposed and discredited.
While this principle has been around for a while, the 21st Century Social Media explosion has reinforced it.