In his analysis of the problems encountered in defining communication, Newman (1960) argues that most people perceive communication from the perspective of a tautology and as such, a right is a right and a wrong is a wrong. Speaking from this point of view, people have a high likelihood to respond to messages that they believe are a facts that cannot be changed irrespective of the context. With this in mind, there is a need to observe that when a person or a section of society is engaged in communication actions with the aim of promoting propaganda, they often carry a message that is portrayed as absolute fact, thus easily swaying the perception of their target audience, who easily relate to these facts. For example, in the 1930s, Adolf Hitler, working together with his minister of propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, established a massive campaign that portrayed the Jews as the greatest enemies of the Germans and as by doing this, he managed to convinced the Germans to turn against the Jews (Goldberg, 2009). This led to the holocaust and 6 million Jews lost their lives. Importantly, propaganda communication often seeks to bring a social change that could have lasting impacts for generations to come, and its message is founded on aspects such as absolute right or wrong.
Another rationale of communication in society is the commercial appeal or advertising. To begin with, commercial appeal or advertising is the process through that marketers employ to market a specific product or service to a specific target audience (Powell, Hardy, Hawkin & Macrury, 2013). In this regard, advertising tries to persuade the target audience that they would be better placed if they purchased a particular product or service. As compared to propaganda, there is a need to observe that advertising also adopt the position of trustworthy and reliability of the sender of the message in the communication process. In this case, the sender of the message in advertising communication not only portrays himself as trustworthy and reliability, but he also portrays his products and/or services as the best in the market as compared to similar products and/or services (Brown, 2006). Importantly, despite its influence on the target audience, there is a need to observe that the impact of the message in advertising communication has a short-term impact on the target audience as compared to propaganda, which has a long-term effect. In addition to this, there is a need to note that advertising focuses on transforming the perception of the target audience towards a particular products or service and as such, convincing him or her to spend his money on the product in question. For example, rival companies such as Nike and Adidas often produce advertising campaigns with the aim of portraying themselves as the best as far as sports apparel and shoes is concerned. However, despite the influence that such advertising campaigns can have, this impact is only occurs in the short term due to the fact that the main message therein largely seeks to trigger people to make purchases and nothing more. Thus, advertising messages seeks to appeal mainly to tastes and preferences rather than the entire transformation of society.
Similarly, another rationale of communication in society is the public service communication. In reference to Glenn (2014), the public service communication is the communication process and actions by societal actors in order to direct and influence policy actions. In this regard, the public service communication mainly emanates from societal actors who are in positions to formulate and enacts policies within a particular institutions or organisations such as the government. One of the fundamental aspects of public service communication is the fact that it targets common interest groups in society and targets them with specific messages that are directly or indirectly related to a particular policy in society (Harrison & Wessels, 2005). Furthermore, Harrison and Wessels (2005) argue that the communication process involves in public service communication is often top-down, and is significantly one-way rather than two way. In addition to this, the sender of the message has to adopt a certain form of professionalism and standards, as well as package it in a specific way in order to enhance its effectiveness as far as connecting with the target audience is concerned. This implies that the failure to package it in a certain way is likely to attract a negative attention from the target audience towards the sender. Importantly, unlike advertising communication and propaganda, which often seeks to stimulate excited among the target audience, the public service communication often seeks to establish its credibility based on facts and reason. An example of a public service communication include government campaigns such as those that seek to discourage smoking as well as those that promote road safety among other aspects.
In conclusion, despite the fact that different rationales of communications focus mainly of passing a message between the sender and the receiver, they portray different characteristics as well as the purpose they intend to achieve in society. For example, whereas most public service communication focus on creating awareness, propaganda campaigns focus on totally transforming the perception of the people within a particular society without necessarily using messages that carry the voice of reason. In the same line of thought, advertising or rather commercial appeal seek to appeal to specific consumers in society with the aim of convincing them to spend their money or a particular product or service. With this in mind, there is a need to observe for effective communication to take place, the sender of such messages needs to adopt a specific approach in order to reach the target audience. For example, while propaganda communication will require the sender of the message to adopt an approach to arouse the emotions of people, the sender of public service communication may be required to adopt an approach that portrays some level of expertise and reason. This means that the only way the two can communicate effectively is for each to adapt a specific and unique approach. In this regard, people in society need to adopt a specific rationale when engaged in communication depending on what element they seek to appeal to among the target audience. For example, propagandists would avoid adopting an approach that allows them to reason with the audience, while institutions such as the government often avoids messages that seeks to stir up people’s emotions as far as policy development is concerned.