Chapter 12   Leave a comment

This was a great chapter, there was so much information about how the government has used public relations.  SImilar to one of our lab assignments, it explained the basic history or the government and public relations, the impact that public relations has had on some exceptional examples of presidents, as well as explain the significance behind it all.  The multiple examples of senators and presidents that had successfully won over the American public through great public relations skills were really informative and gave Seitel a lot of credibility with his readers.

The way that the early government feared public relations was fascinating.  It makes sense to attempt to ban that kind of position from government though.  Given their recent independence from Great Britain, the citizens of the United States did not want anybody to be able to use persuasive powers to gain an unfair advantage.  Back then there were no cell phones, televisions, or Internet to spread information as rapidly as we do today.  This lack of information obtaining technology placed an additional emphasis on politicians back then, it was much more difficult to fact check what was being said than it is today.

I also thought that the way that Seitel mentioned presidents that were great with public relations, and presidents that were less than fantastic was very unbiased.  For the majority of the book I have detected a slight bias against conservative politics, but in this chapter political agendas were put aside and the candidate himself was analyzed.  Presidents like Ronald Regan and Bill Clinton were fantastic public speakers, and they really knew how to draw in a crowd.  George H. Bush and George W. Bush on the other hand did not fare so well.  While both men were very highly educated and very intelligent, their unconfident and irregular speaking style made them easy targets for the media.

Reagan often showcased his humor with the press, which was almost always well received On the other side of the spectrum, humor was not a friend of George W. Bush

There is something to be said about a government actively trying to communicate it’s intentions and objectives to not only it’s own citizens, but to people across the world.  The United States government has made a valiant effort to communicate with the general public, but with departments like the Defense, Health and Human Services, Agriculture, State, Treasury, Homeland Security and many others all of that publicity is a little overwhelming.  Hopefully somebody will realize this problem and do something to reduce the amount of communication to ensure that only the most important stuff reaches us.

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Posted June 21, 2011 by Big Man in Reading Notes

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