On Communications War: Public Interest Communications and Classical Military Strategy

Jasper Fessmann


Strategic communication disciplines routinely use terms such as strategy, tactics, and objectives that originated in strategic military science. I argue here that a better understanding of classical military strategic thinking is relevant to public interest communications (PIC). Case studies of unscrupulous public relations (PR) campaigns on behalf of vested interests that apply deception, misdirection, and fake news in a war fighting mentality are examined. I argue that such practices need to be understood in the military sense to be detected early and effectively countered in legitimate and honorable ways by organizations fighting for the public interest. The article proposes that a key function of a PIC professional in an organization is to become a PIC Communications Strategos—strategic communications war leader. 


public interest communications; public relations history; strategic communications; activism; strategy

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