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Basics of Public Relations


Shaping Attitudes

The goal of public relations is to shape someone's or some group's attitudes regarding your organization or project.

Our task is to create an accurate understanding of the value of social studies education and what people can do to help social studies educators teach students the knowledge and skills necessary to prepare for college, career, and civic life.

The Basic Concepts

  1. Messages about social studies are being delivered all the time—at youth sporting events, school functions, in the supermarket checkout line and at other community gathering places and events.
  2. Communicate accurate, positive messages about social studies in your everyday interactions with people, so they will spread similar ideas.

Targeting Audiences

Selecting a few groups for your communication effort is called targeting. Targeting audiences does not mean you will stop communicating with everyone else. It means special attention will be given to the targeted audience. Sometimes a target audience will be very large, and you may not have the resources to communicate efficiently with all parties in that audience. Look for segments (super targets) which influence the attitudes of others.

Think about the additional audiences in your community or state that need a better understanding of social studies education. Bring together a small group of colleagues and simply brainstorm a list of key audiences. Divide the list into internal audiences—those closest to the school—and external audiences. Prioritize this list so you have only a few that can receive adequate attention.

Keep in mind that there are two categories of audiences to consider in a public relations campaign—primary and secondary. Primary audiences are those you hope will take the action. Secondary audiences can influence the primary audience.


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