Three things all propaganda has in common:
1. An agenda
Propaganda makers are working to promote a specific cause, ideology, group or individual. That’s what sets propaganda apart from expressing a personal opinion or even a divisive idea. Propaganda is powered by the desire to make a bigger impact.
2. A targeted audience
The creators of propaganda think carefully about who will see their messages. Even if the audience they identify is large and varied, propaganda makers know who they want to see their work and design their content to resonate with these targets.
3. A massaged message
Propaganda makers use persuasive techniques to shape their content, making it more memorable and convincing. Sometimes, these techniques may be rooted in the truth, but other times, they may omit or alter the facts to better serve the ultimate agenda.
Extra credit: Disguise the delivery
To make a message even more effective, propaganda creators can cover their tracks, making it easier to earn your trust. Would you be more likely to believe information about a new health supplement from the company that sells it or from a seemingly “neutral” YouTube review? Using fake people, sites or pre-programmed bots, propaganda makers can hide their agenda from their audience.
Taken from Newseum Disinformation Nation: https://www.disinformation-nation.org/how-propaganda-works/
The Yellow Press, illustration from 1910 depicting William Randolph Hearst as a jester tossing newspapers with headlines such as “Appeals to Passion, Venom, Sensationalism, Attacks on Honest Officials, Strife, Distorted News, Personal Grievance, [and] Misrepresentation” to a crowd of eager readers — Source.