Useful Knowledge And Origins Of Industrial.
Discuss About The Useful Knowledge And Origins Of Industrial?
United Kingdom has been one of the forerunners in the field of innovation in both technological and creative fields. The industrial revolution begun in Europe and United Kingdom was one of the leaders in taking part in it. In fact, the industrial revolution was rooted in United Kingdom where it begun (Hartwell, 2017). The British people gave birth to a number of innovations and technologies and were pioneer in starting operations trade. Industrial revolution begun in the later part of the 18th century (Mokyr, 2015). The advent of printing press by Johannes Gutenberg in Germany rolled the wheels of public relations in its most primitive form in the mid 15th century. Newspapers started to be printed in Germany for the first time and were adopted by England after 1695, which flourished rapidly since (Clarke, 2017). Basil Clarke who established “Editorial Services” in 1924 started the first trend of public relations as an official profession. The thesis statement of the essay is: “United Kingdom has been one of the leader and pioneer in the field of Public Relations, and the public relations has been used by the country very effectively in nation building and social transformation of the nation.”
The history of United Kingdom has been characterised by a number of highs and lows. The country has been however way ahead of time in a number of aspects including technology, innovation, creativity and governance. The country has been one of the very first to establish its imperial colonies in a number of Asian and African countries (Cain & Hopkins, 2016). The country had colonies all over the world. Therefore, especially it was necessary for United Kingdom to make its public relation system strong and effective, so that it can communicate with such a vast area and population it was dealing with. In the mid 17th Century when the English Civil War happened there was a direct clash between Charles I and the Parliament, neither of the sides were willing to blink, Charles was defeated and executed later (Woolrych, 2017). This was the first time when both the parties of the war started propaganda by distributing pamphlets to establish their opinions and gain majority support from the population. Therefore, it is noteworthy how from the very beginning the efforts of nation building and governance have been featured with public relations and propaganda in England.
The first newspaper in England started publishing in the year 1665 and was called the London Gazette, which was published twice a week (Clarke, 2017). Many more newspapers followed suit. The newspapers in England often became a tool for the monarchy to influence the general public within the country and also in its colonies beyond the borders (Jowett & O’donnell, 2014). A very interesting incident of using the public relations and culture in the 17th Century England by the monarchy happened due to Charles II the son of the executed monarch Charles I about whom mention has been done above. Execution of Charles I by the British parliament had tarnished the image of the monarchy, now it was on his son Charles II to reclaim the position. Charles II used culture as a tool to reclaim his prestige and filled his court room with collecting startling and luxurious art works from the world around which became a talking point all over the nation. The use of propaganda was so much noticeable in his artworks (Joffe, 2017). There was a huge larger than life size portrait of Charles by the painter John Michael Wright, in which the king is seen to be sitting with lustrous and luxurious dresses holding the ruling sceptre with engraved “an enduring image of monarchy restored.” The use of culture as a PR tool by the monarch to spread propaganda about the supremacy of the monarchy was very evident from these artwork installations. In the painting called “The Sea Triumph of Charles II”, it is seen that Charles is riding through the waters by Neptune while Venus looks down from the skies. Noteworthy here is that it highlighted Charles’ proactive role in bringing an end to the third Anglo Dutch War with the “Treaty of Westminster”.
The British monarchy has seen a number of tumultuous times through which it has successfully got through and survives till today. The role of propaganda and successful use of public relations in the survival of the British media is worth studying. The social transformation that has been happening in Britain through the times is much influenced by the British monarchy. The Monarchy has been the earliest form of government is the United Kingdom. There has been a history of more than thousands years of how the monarchy has shaped and transformed British society (Royal.uk, 2018).
In the beginning it was the absolute authority of the monarch on the country. Social transformation by various means led to the supremacy of parliament over time, which is a representative body of the people. The starting point was the devolution of power by King John who promulgated the Magna Carta in 1215 and stated that the king is under the same laws which govern the public. This was followed by Edward I who created the first assembly of representatives of the cities in 1295 which was the first initiative towards establishment of the British parliament (Holt, Garnett & Hudson, 2015). These summoning of nobles and representatives became regular and parliament became a phenomenon of governance. Post this the above mentioned incident of the clash between the Parliament and Charles I happened following which Charles was executed. The victory of the Parliament gave a direct hit to the prestige of the monarchy which ruled on divine right. Oliver Cromwell led the parliament and established it as a strong and stable institution (Horspool, 2017). Therefore, it is clearly visible how the British Monarchy played an outstanding role in social transformation of Britain. They basically ushered in the system of parliament and helped in empowerment of the people.
It is worthy of noting how both the British monarchy and the parliamentary government has been using the media and PR tools in their respective propaganda. The British media is always historically seen as a tool of propaganda by the royal family. The members of the royal family have been always portrayed in a very positive light. In the recent days most of the coverages of the royal family by British newspapers include beautiful and perfectly dressed pictures of the family members doing some social work or something positive. The royal members are portrayed as idols (Rajan, 2018). This is how the monarchy has been utilising PR in enhancing image through propaganda. Recently there has been controversy over the revelation of Prince Harry’s girlfriend Meghan Markle about the desire of the royal family about image control using the public relation and the press as the tool.
There have been a sweet and sour relationship of the royal family with the media of the country, which is often characterised by the media getting rebuked by the royal family, recently the spokesman of the royal family wrote to the press about not going too far in doing paparazzi journalism (Addley & Booth, 2016). There are several examples of the royal family altering headlines, like the case when the Sun was forced to declare that the news about the Queen backing the Brexit was misleading and false. The death of Prince Diana was the saturation point when the relationship of the press and the Monarchy hit an all-time low, the death was allegedly due to a car accident caused by due to Diana trying to escape the paparazzi (Baker, 2014).
With the advent of social media and digital mediums the monarchy and the British government got a whole new way of developing their PR activities. As the royal family got detached from direct political activities, their social responsibilities and activities increased. The royal family though is not directly involved in the political affairs but its impacts on the people’s lives are worth mentionable. Social media has paved the way for a direct communication between the royal family and the common people of Britain. The Buckingham Palace has a twitter handle which even interacts with people. The monarchy has been using the social media also to refute all kinds of fake news and misinformed journalistic opinions. Recently the media went into a frenzy when the queen called a late night meeting of the high officials, and even declared Prince Phillip has died. The monarchs denied all such claims in their official account in the social media. Recently there have been advertisements for recruitment of “digital communication officers” at the Buckingham Palace (Davies, 2017). In addition, Prince Harry was tested of HIV live on Facebook. The current twitter handle of the royal family has more than 3 million followers. The Queen also launched a YouTube channel of her own in 2014 (Davies, 2017).
It is evident that from the middle ages of the monarchy to the present day ornamental monarchy in Britain, the use of PR by the monarchs and the government has been a constant affair. It is very necessary for the ruling class to establish status quo, and maintain the power to continue their influence on the common men of the nation. There is a need to manipulate the minds of the people and establish a perfect image of the members of the monarchy to maintain the supremacy of the royal family over the mass (McNair, 2017). The monarchy and the government plays a direct role in building the nation by leading the people from the front. They engage in political transformation of the society through active decision making and they use the PR tools to make this happen and spread the word among the people. This is how public relations has a direct impact on nation building.
Greenpeace is a NGO dealing with the environmental issues and based in Amsterdam. The official mission of the organisation is to nurture the diversity of life on earth (Greenpeace.org, 2018). The mention of this organisation here is due to its high manipulative ability of the media and PR. They have been utilising public relations tool to the highest level in order to alter people’s mind. May be they want to achieve a noble cause but often they take unethical ways like spreading fake news and videos, like the recent video in which a huge oil spill destroying the arctic ice caps was shown (Holiday, 2013). May be they wanted to project to the population that the ice caps at the poles were failing due to pollution, but the method taken was unethical and unacceptable. Greenpeace has been advertising in social media abundantly and their strategy is to reach more number of people.
The World Wide Fund for Nature or WWF is another non-governmental organisational which is focussing on conservation of animals which are under threat of extinction. The organisation has a number of publications aimed at preaching of the organisations goals including the “Living Planet Index”, it regularly publishes facts and statistics (Worldwildlife.org, 2018).
To understand the cultural status of a nation and getting insights about its internal cultural and social leanings and trends, Hofstede’s cultural model is very effective. It depicts cross cultural communication and the behavioural patterns of certain cultures achieved by analysis of factors. The Hofstede cultural dimension of UK is as follows.
Power Distance- This factor recognises that everyone is not equal and how a culture perceives such distance. Britain has a low score of 35 which means that the society believes in equality and less distance of power.
Individualism- High score of 89 in the Individualism scale denotes the highly individualistic society where people are more concerned about self.
Masculinity- Masculine culture denotes those which are driven by logical thought and feminine denotes the society driven by emotional quotient. Britain is more of logical.
Uncertainty Avoidance- This factor denotes whether the people are of risk taking nature. British people are not very much risk taking it is seen from the low score of 35.
Long term orientation- High score in this factor means the society is more concerned about the future, low score means the society is more tradition oriented. Britain is neutral in this regard.
Indulgence- The British people believe in indulging into life and enjoying all the material happiness and that is evident from the high score of 69 in this regard.
People by the day are more getting involved into the digital media and British monarch and the government is utilising this by using social media to the fullest in order to spread their propaganda through PR mechanisms. The digital technology is becoming intelligent these days, with artificial intelligence being fed into the system which can detect the online behaviour of people in a more efficient way (Tufekci, 2018).
In conclusion it can be well said the British Monarchy has been using PR from the very ancient days in order to spread its propaganda of the supremacy of the royal family. PR tools have been used right from the time of the British civil war to the modern days and it has paved the way for a closer connection between the British monarchy and the citizens. The English Monarchy and the government has played active role in the social transformation of the country which is evident from the examples stated throughout this paper. British Royal Family though does not have any active political function today, but it continues to be one of the most influential and talked about families of the whole world.
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