Public Relations in Colonization

A more light-hearted detour on the road of public relations history lies in some of the exaggerations, often not even plausible, that have accompanied what today we would call real-estate promotion.

Erik (The Red) Thorvaldson (right) discovered an uninhabited land of ice and snow in the North Atlantic. Recognizing the power of words, he named it Greenland to attract settlers, whom he led there in 985. The name was indeed misleading, for the ice melts for only a few months a year even in the southern coastal land.

In 1584, Sir Walter Raleigh (left) sent glowing reports to England about Roanoke Island off present-day North Carolina. Compared to England, this new land had better soil, bigger trees, and more plentiful harvests, as well as friendly Indians – so he said, as he aimed to persuade other settlers to join this first British colony in North America. But the wildly exaggerated promotion, while successful in attracting settlers and financial backers, didn't match reality. The island was largely swampland, food was scarce, sickness was prevalent, and the colony was abandoned within two years. Virginia led the colonies in both the number of promotional leaflets and in the degree of exaggeration within them.

In another effort to encourage European colonization in the New World, the Spanish explorers and conquistadores (left), sent back to Spain enthusiastic reports of a Fountain of Youth in Florida and of Seven Cities of Gold in Mexico. Though they never found either, their stories helped spur immigration to the Americas.

Later the press in the Eastern United States promoted westward expansion with a glorified view of life on the frontier. The legend of Davy Crockett (right) and later stories about Calamity Jane and Buffalo Bill Cody were among the persuasive messages developed to encourage expansion. The Southern Pacific Railroad hired a publicity to promote South California. Land companies hired promoters to attract settlers, and the government hyped the California Gold Rush to foster public opinion for the war against Mexico. In 1880, the Burlington Railroad spent less than $40,000 to promote land sales out West that brought in almost $17 million. The Northern Pacific Railroad, meanwhile, promoted land grants for Civil War veterans along its route in the northern plains and mountain states; it even hired agencies and took out newspaper ads in Germany, Scandinavia and The Netherlands to attract European immigrants.

One can imagine future generations greeted by similar exaggerations about undersea colonies or the first settlements on the moon. Hopefully tomorrow's public relations practitioners will exercise more ethical control than some of their earlier forerunners.

(8 000)

Reading for gist

 Exercise 5. Read text B once to get the general idea, try not to spend more than 10 minutes. Complete the sentence as to the text:

The passage describes

    (A) religious organizations from Egyptian time to this century.

     (B) influence of religious leaders on public relations.

     (C) religious history.

Scanning for information

Exercise 6.What do the following figures and dates mean? (text B)

1. the mid-first century

2. the 5th century

3. the 8th century

4. the 6th century

5. 1095

6. 1215

7. 1351

8. 1622

Reading for detail

Exercise 7. Read text B and decide whether the following statements are true or false.

1. Peter and Paul’s aim was to decrease interest in Jesus Christ’s message.

2. Nero accused the Christians of the burning of Rome.

3. Augustine of Hippo said that true statements were the purpose of public speaking.

4.  Use of public relations strategies was limited to the Christian church.

5. Martin Luther used the same means of persuading people as John Wycliffe.

Exercise 8. Read texts B and C again and underline words and phrases that you do not know. Write your own definitions. Use a dictionary if necessary.

Exercise 9. Analyze the sentence ‘Much of the pre-history of public relations is linked with the growth and maintenance of religion, one of the most basic and cohesive aspects of society throughout the ages. ‘(grammar tense, active or passive voice) . Make up your own sentences using passive constructions.

Exercise 10. Answer the questions. (Text B)

1. Who improved the concepts of rhetoric?

a) Paul of Tarsus

b) Augustine of Hippo

c) The early Christian Church

d) The first Roman emperor

2. What is the Koran?

a) Jesus Christ’s works

b) Mohammed’s writings

c) Stephen Langton’s articles

d) Martin Luther’s Bible

3. What approach did Pope Urban II use?

a) He used slogans, public speaking etc.

b) His approach involved some peculiar communication tactics.

c) He used only writing.

d) His approach involved only public speaking.

4. What did Thomas Aquinas revisit Aristotle for ?

a) He wanted to communicate with Aristotle.

b) He was eager to learn the convincing nature of religious communication.

c) His aim was to study Aristotle’s religious beliefs.

d) His purpose was to refute the persuasive nature of religious communication.

5. How do religious organizations continue to use public relations strategies and tactics?

a) They use quotations from the Bible.

b) They paraphrase the Koran.

c) They attract professionals.

d) They translate the Bible into the language of the people.

Exercise 11. Answer the questions (Text C).

1. Was Erik Thorvaldsen right to name an uninhabited land of  ice and snow Greenland ?

2. What island was swampland?

3. Is it possible to see a Fountain of Youth in Florida?

4. Who hyped the Californian Gold Rush?

5. When did the Burlington Railroad promote land sales out West?

6. Do you think you will promote undersea colonies or the first settlements on the Moon?

Summarizing information

Exercise 12. Look through the text again. Give the main points of each paragraph of the text.

Exercise 13. Put a key-question to each paragraph of the text given above.

Exercise 14. Make up a detailed plan of the text.

Exercise 15. Abridge the text by way of shortening each paragraph (throwing off unnecessary sentences and even words).

Exercise 16. Summarize the text to the others in your group.


Exercise 17. Identify and discuss contemporary parallels to some of these examples

of public relations in religious history.

Exercise 18. Identify and discuss contemporary parallels to some of these examples of public relations in colonization.

Exercise 19. (Interview) Think about the questions you would ask any of the famous people mentioned in the texts. Make up dialogues with your partner.


Exercise 20. Collect all the information and write an abstract under the title “Famous people in the sphere of public relations”.

Exercise 21. Write a summary of the text. Use ‘The author describes (presents, touches upon)’ etc.

Дата: 2018-12-28, просмотров: 167.