Through the smart effective use of public relations, Civil Rights leaders of the sixties time were the catalyst that brought unity and peace to a divisive nation. In fact, much of the PR related to Martin Luther King’s movement, for one, culminated in a society that has paved the way for people, young and old, to cross cultural boundaries and to create a place where music, sports, entertainment and food intersect to create a heaven on Earth.
All of this would not have been possible without effective PR.
Everything about the way we, the way you, live today exists because of the many different movements that made major issues a platform for change. Women’s Suffragist, Abolitionists, and Civil Rights Movements were all movements that affected social or political change, for everyone.
A social movement typically is….
When speaking about social movements, we are usually talking about groups of action that act as agents of political or social change. These agents can be individuals, whole populations or cultures within populations.
However, most social movements involve more than organization for a cause. The function of most social movements in society is to:
All of these factors play a role in the tone and tempo of a major social movement that changes an establishment, especially if the establishment’s ideology is one that is ingrained in the public psyche.
The results of a social movement can be found on pretty much every aspect of your life. Social movements have been at the root of:
For the most part, social movements are not only the catalyst for change in your life, but they also function to keep cultural paradigms up-to-date, and in some cases, progressive.
One integral part to a movement is public opinion, which includes your opinion. A collective public opinion is usually the foundation by which most social movements get their start.
More importantly, movements become established when organizations engage in relationships with the public/s or stakeholders (people who are affected by the movement—you and me) in which they want to affect change.
During the Civil Rights Movement, Martin Luther King established relationships with at least two publics: African-American people in the South and the establishment. These two stakeholders had separate opinions (and investments) regarding the issue of African-American marginalization and disenfranchisement in the South, so he had to persuade both publics of his mission—equal rights and equal access for all.
In the end….
Depending on the type of relationship established (one-way or two-way), public relations acts a catalyst by mobilizing public opinion (your opinion) or facilitating the public’s interest and investment in central principles outlined in the movement. At the point that an organization or individual can get the support from its publics, the movement takes shape and form to affect change.
Social movements engage in public relations to affect change through….
Public relations between organizations and the publics they have relationships with facilitate and promote the organizational platform’s major principles. In doing so, organizational ideas that start out as progressive ones to affect change in our lives evolve into entire social movements, which can affect and change the entire fabric of an established institution!
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