Burson-Marsteller’s Twitter “Campaigns” and Their Tool of Choice, Tru-Cast; as Defined by Burson-Marsteller

by Scott Creighton

****UPDATE**** July, 2008 - Seymore Hersh talks the $400 million dollar propaganda program against Iran… plans to “destabilize Iran” … I wonder if Burson-Marsteller have been getting any “covert money” from CIA black ops programs…

This week in the magazine, Seymour M. Hersh writes about how the Bush Administration has stepped up its secret campaign against Iran. Here Hersh describes the latest developments in U.S.-Iran relations and the role of Congress in funding and overseeing the White House’s clandestine activities.

****UPDATE**** The MSM is starting to have to help cover the “fake twitters” story. Curiously, web traffic coming out of Iran is slowed to a crawl, but somehow, magically, those Tweets from Twitter just keep rolling along.

But Twitter keeps right on humming, as evidenced by thousands of messages apparently being sent from inside Iran. Some of them are fakesMSNBC

some of them are fakes” … but that doesn’t stop MSNBC, CNN, and FOX from reporting the fake information as news… that should tell you something right there.

The way that is happening is they didn’t come out of Iran in the first place.  A firm like Burson-Marsteller has been behind them from the beginning, using technology they readily advertise on their website called TRU-CAST (which basically means, in the new Orwellian Speak, “lying on the webcasts”).  They’re “shaping” the story to help force a regime change in Iran through the use of social media site like FaceBook and TWITTER.

The understanding of “sentiment” allows us to FOCUS THE MESSAGE in a way that traditional media would not allow us to do.”  Visible Technologies talking about the tool Tru-Cast

Bringing in a more “moderate” (read as “Friedman free-market neo-liberal Shock Therapy model” like Argentina, Chile, Russia, Bolivia, South Africa) reformer like Mousavi who would hand over the domestic economic policy of Iran to the same “Chicago Boys” types of economic hitmen from the U.S. and the U.K., would represent a huge economic opportunity for many of the multi-national corporations that Burson-Marsteller serves.

I certainly hope the progressives and the liberals who were so angry when the Bush administration kept trying to falsify stories about Iran to justify a regime change (1. Iranian speed-boats attacking U.S. warships, 2. Iran trying to enrich uranium to weapons grade levels) will eventually see through this latest attempt by the same people.

(You might be interested in reading Mondoweiss’ take on all of this)

check out this video WaldoPaper showed me about the level of propaganda used in the past (and present) against Iran.

Now we are talking “New and Improved! Propaganda Wars!“. Sentiment Laden Propaganda from the “bottom up”! Got a problem with the “progressives” always screwing up your “propaganda” online?

Well, just feed it to THEM FIRST! Make your propaganda their mission, and they will defend your fake war-mongering stories till they’re blue in the face!


[original text]

Recently news broke that several of the Twitter accounts supposedly coming out of Iran feeding info to bloggers about what was happening, were actually coming from a different location and that they seemed to have reset their locations and time-stamp to make it seem like they were in Iran.  They were fraudulent Tweets.

Right-wing Israeli interests are engaged in an all out Twitter attack with hopes of delegitimizing the Iranian election and causing political instability within IranCharting Stocks

Once news of this broke, it was merely a few hours before a meme started showing up on the blogs and social media sites, that everyone who supported the protesters in Iran should change their Twitter settings and time stamps to help hide the activists in Iran.

Attention Twittering Redditors! Help the Iranian bloggers: change your twitter settings so that your location is TEHRAN and your time zone is GMT +3.30. Security forces hunting for bloggers using location and timezone searches. If we are all ‘Iranians’ it’s much harder to find them. Reddit

This was clearly an attempt to generate a smoke-screen, or… Tweet-screen if you like,  for the fake bloggers outside Iran who had been using the social media to spread misinformation about what was happening in Iran.

How did they do it so quickly?

How did they locate the problem story that exposed their fake-tweets and then act so quickly to counter it with a different social media PR campaign tweet-screen?

It’s not a secret - TruCast (Visable Technologies) offers this service targeting social media and ways to respond in real time. Burson-Marsteller uses this service as part of their PR “event perception management” campaigns.

As Rachel Maddow puts it, “When evil needs public relations, evil has Burson-Marsteller on speed-dial”.

Seeing it in hindsight, Rachel is one thing; seeing it in real-time is another.

Understanding that every public relations campaign is unique, we focus on measuring the campaign impact against specific pre-determined goals including shifts in awareness, attitudes and behaviors

Specialized research products and services that Burson-Marsteller offers our clients include: issues monitoring and analysis, Web audits, employee research, crisis monitoring, business and environment analyses, creative ideation and client intranet development….

Burson-Marsteller partners with Cision, the leading global provider of media relations software services and solutions, to conduct media research and monitoring, including YouTube, MySpace, Twitter and LinkedIn.  B-M’s strategy team uses Cision data to develop targeted PR programs and assess the impact the programs have on media coverage and peer-to-peer dialogues.

PSB is Burson-Marsteller’s research partner, offering clients a range of qualitative and quantitative research tools for brand and corporate image strategy, advertising and PR campaign strategy development, execution testing and messaging.   Burson-Marsteller

TruCast (Visible Technologies): Burson-Marsteller partners with Visible Technologies to helps clients interact, manage and grow their brands in the blogosphere and social media communities.  With TruCast, Burson-Marsteller clients gain the following benefits:

    • Social Media and Blog Monitoring to track viral conversations about the client’s brand and products and to react quickly to online dialogues affecting the brand
    • Social Media Learning and Measurement to brand Influencers and activists, assess the conversation volume about your products and brand
    • Social Media Marketing and Customer Engagement to drive influential peer-to-peer, word-of-mouth promotion and measure marketing programs and media campaign success

Tru-Cast - “Our solution helps you listen to and learn what consumers are saying about your brand in the blogosphere and social media communities. Most importantly, it fosters customer engagement by enabling you to effectively participate in these discussions by placing the right messages in front of the right audiences for a more direct connection to your brand.”

“The Visible Technolgies “Tool-kit”, the Tru-Cast Platform, the “Engagement Console” enables us to actually ACTION that analysis, to LEVERAGE that insight. It enables us to participate in the conversations, to FOCUS OUR MESSAGING… to help us better target how we place our messaging

The understanding of “sentiment” allows us to FOCUS THE MESSAGE in a way that traditional media would not allow us to do.”

“You enter into the dialog and you become part of the ecosystem of the people having those conversations…”

When evil needs public relations, evil has Burson-Marsteller on speed dial

That’s why it was so creepy that Hillary Clinton’s pollster and chief strategist during her campaign, was Mark Penn… CEO of Burson-Marsteller.”

That’s not the only connection he has to the Clintons.

Read this write-up I did on Burson-Marsteller a week ago.

14 Responses

  1. Good grief……. no one will know who to believe ….. this is making a mess of every blog….. commercials.. that’s what tweeters are doing….. commercials… invading ‘thought’ and ‘truth’….. mind playing games….. soon even the commercial creators will be confused….. 🙂

  2. So, I changed my location and time zone to participate in the tweet screen. That may provide cover for the fake tweeters, but it also provided cover for the real ones. Some of the tweets are clearly originating from Iran. Others appear to be fake. If our goal was to confuse, confusion is the predictable result. Hopefully the Iranians can sort it out in the street.

    • It’s not “your goal”… it was a “goal” fed to you by a PR firm whose contract is for causing turmoil in Iran. It is the “goal” of just yet another country being subjected to the Freidman free-market Shock Therapy model, like Chile, Argentina, Bolivia, Iran (under the Shah)… and now they are trying to do the same thing in Iran all over again. And who did they get to help them? They got “progressive” bloggers by planting disinformation from the “bottom-up” and then letting CNN and MSNBC and FOX quote all of that as “news”.

      It’s lies and deception for profit - that’s all it is. and most “progressive’ bloggers just have no earthly idea what they are doing and how they are helping the very kinds of people they have been struggling against for the past 8 years. Your goal wasn’t to confuse, it was to lie. and democracies can’t be born in lies. The people of Iran chose the man they wanted, now the neo-liberals are using the uninformed to help them force a “regime change” on Iran. You may pat yourself on the back now, but in 5 years when the truth comes out, I hope you fully understand the level of misery you are helping to inflict on the people of Iran - just so you can feel good about yourself now.

  3. Your post reads like a steaming pile of crap.

    It reminds me of a caller on the Art Bell show who can’t remember which conspiracy to talk about first.

  4. Willyloman, if you’re so much a baboon that you actually believe that was a free and fair election, then whatever else you believe must be as irrational.

  5. will,

    It seems plausible that the spooks have been planning to promote “regime change’ in Iran. There have been stories by Hersh about this. There were not many details in those stories about what specifically they were doing to ‘change’ things.

    One idea would be to back some political leader that would promise to be more supportive of American goals for Iran.

    This would seem risky and not have much chance of success.

    Another idea would be to promote some candidate, not because you liked the guy’s prposed policies, but because his candidacy could be used to destabilize the government. It’s the destabilization and weakening of the government that would seem to further the spook’s goals more than working to directly get someone into office that would be friendly.

    The effort to put out the story that the election was rigged, or stolen, just goes to undermine the regime’s legitimacy no matter who would have won. The question of what really happened would not be a concern for the spooks. Though, they might make some appearence of concern.

    I think there are a few changes I would make that might help things in the furure. Some of these changes would need the approval and funding of our governments. Something to work for.

    One of the crucial problems is just how little understanding of Iran independent people have at the moment. We seem really dependent on a few voices. And because propaganda is such a big issue, the fewer the voices, the greater the risk that what we hear is itself part of a propaganda effort.

    The same problem occurs with Cuba. The U.S. limits our access to Cuba so that it can control the message. The government gets to tell us what to beliueve about Cuba, or Iran, and we don’t have our own experiences of those places to independently evaluate what the government wants us to believe.

    So, I’d want to allow more travel to Iran, and vice versa. Fund more student exchange. Do more business partnerships. etc.

    This won’t help the situation at the moment. But, it’s an idea to help longer term.

    Second, I’m trying to find some more independent blogging/ journalism/reporting on Iranian issues. Do you have any advice about that?

    Third, It seems there’s a philosophical issue having to do with the clash of civilizations and conflict resolution. We don’t really know how to resolve conflicts very well other than by just overwhelming or eliminating the opposition. I’m working on that one.

    fourth, I have been wanting to defend ‘progressivism’ from you and your accusation that they have been tools in this effort to bring about ‘regime change’ in Iran. I guess this comes out of my general sympathy for the ‘left’ in general.

    Maybe part of my difficulty recently in trying to think about this is an assumption that the real ‘left’ can do no wrong. I think this is silly on my part. Of course they can do wrong. I think they can be decieved. They can be duped into supporting the spooks in devious ways.

    So, the left might want there to be a strong movement in support of democracy or the working class in Iran, and think that this political movement there was a tool to bring about such change. Yet, as you have been pointing out, there is reason to think that this political movement and the claim the election was stolen are just tools created and used by the spooks to bring about ‘regime change’ for their benefit. THe spooks aren’t interested so much in ‘change’ to democracy, but change to create another client state.

    You have suggested that some of these supposed ‘progressive’ on-line entities know perfectly well that the turmoil is fomented by spooks, and yet they promote it anyway. The suggestion is that they may secretly be working for spooks rather than ‘progressive’ ideals.

    I guess I should not be surprised.

    This issue tells me that the best thing to do is be clear about one’s argument and support it as well as one can, making sure that it’s as transparent as you can so that one can demonstrate one’s thinking. That way, I think, one can defend oneself from the claim that one is just a tool of someone else’s agenda.

    I do appreciate your concerns about this and other issues.

  6. A steaming pile of crap?

    Last one I saw use that image in relation to your work, Willy, worked for Swanson-even put up a colored picture of the stuff. That was the last day I ever went over there.

    And a caller to Art’s show?

    Well, I prefer any of those free-lance ‘conspiracy’ models over anything these lock-step, knuckle-dragging corporate shills feel obligated to put out.

    So, keep on showing us like it is-you, and them who call in to Art (it’s George, now, though). You’ve got a hungry audience out here.

    R Ap

    • OMG, you’re right. i forgot all about that, Roy. That’s right. She left a comment or two here. I should go check the IP addresses to see if they are the same… “steaming pile of crap”? Don’t hear that too much these days… well, I do…

  7. Willy, were you able to determine whether or not that was CHIP?

  8. “in 5 years when the truth comes out, I hope you fully understand the level of misery you are helping to inflict on the people of Iran”.

    If he’s anything like the Balkan Brigade (Guardian, New Statesman, Observer, etc) he’ll turn a deaf ear to all the horrors, and go into overdrive to invade the next villain’s country.

    Thank you so much for this article.

    Thierry Meyssan corroborates it at

    • Thank you for your comment Mr. Jackson. I read the Voltair Net article. When I get back here this evening, I will put it up here with a link.

  9. Ben M. is brain dead. It is that simple.

    Steven Andreson, you bring up an interesting point….. doesn’t matter who won … the PR wants Iran to be destabilized…. they want conflict with imported fictional props that blind Americans and give marginal reason to go to war with another nation.

  10. […] Technologies’ TruCast is also abused in other areas of society: “some of them are fakes” … but that doesn’t stop MSNBC, CNN, and FOX from […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: