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Four Basic Communication Strategies, Beyond the Borders of Traditional Public Relations Practice
Unformatted Document Text:  14 itself. His business is making the organization’s positive presence felt in the outside world. This is the basis of the town crier’s claim to fame. His actions are based on former experiences and practical models, they have no theoretical background. In the first two decades of the period that was researched, the town crier was in fact the dominant model in public relations literature related to the public sector. Rooij & Nieuwenhuis (1969) stated that it is the job of the public “voorlichter” (the “enlightener” as the public relations professional used to be called in the public sector) to spread messages, geared to suit the demands of the chosen media. He will rigidly negate any influence on the meaning of the message. He is “as cool as the moon” as Schelhaas (1979), a well-known public relations manager in the public sector, put it. A small association of “voorlichters” (part of the Dutch Association of Journalists) still proclaims that “he takes care of the provision of information, together with journalists” (brochure for new members). He is, so to speak, the in-house element of journalism. Weisglas (1955) stated that if you are looking for new PR professionals, then you are most likely to find them in journalistic circles. Although this is not the case anymore, the in-house production of media and the channeling of information to other media (typical town criers tasks) still consume the lion’s share of the available time and money (Ruler & De Lange, 1995). The steward: public relations is pampering The view of communication as a magic bullet, in combination with a focus on the connotative side of meaning, creates the “steward” type. When describing the core business of their job, stewards employ a jargon typified by catchwords such as atmosphere, socializing, representation, etiquette, humanity, and the like. In their view, communication is contact. Their job is to pamper. The steward is the type of communication manager whose task it is to put invited guests at their ease. He takes care of the contacts with these particular prospects. His responsibility is to socialize with the prospects and to make them receptive to positive notions about the organization he represents. He stimulates people to mingle and socialize under his roof. His business is creating an atmosphere for

Authors: Van Ruler, A. A. Betteke.
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itself. His business is making the organization’s positive presence felt in the outside world. This is the
basis of the town crier’s claim to fame. His actions are based on former experiences and practical
models, they have no theoretical background.
In the first two decades of the period that was researched, the town crier was in fact the dominant
model in public relations literature related to the public sector. Rooij & Nieuwenhuis (1969) stated that
it is the job of the public “voorlichter” (the “enlightener” as the public relations professional used to be
called in the public sector) to spread messages, geared to suit the demands of the chosen media. He
will rigidly negate any influence on the meaning of the message. He is “as cool as the moon” as
Schelhaas (1979), a well-known public relations manager in the public sector, put it. A small
association of “voorlichters” (part of the Dutch Association of Journalists) still proclaims that “he
takes care of the provision of information, together with journalists” (brochure for new members). He
is, so to speak, the in-house element of journalism. Weisglas (1955) stated that if you are looking for
new PR professionals, then you are most likely to find them in journalistic circles. Although this is not
the case anymore, the in-house production of media and the channeling of information to other media
(typical town criers tasks) still consume the lion’s share of the available time and money (Ruler & De
Lange, 1995).
The steward: public relations is pampering
The view of communication as a magic bullet, in combination with a focus on the connotative side of
meaning, creates the “steward” type. When describing the core business of their job, stewards employ
a jargon typified by catchwords such as atmosphere, socializing, representation, etiquette, humanity,
and the like. In their view, communication is contact. Their job is to pamper.
The steward is the type of communication manager whose task it is to put invited guests at their ease.
He takes care of the contacts with these particular prospects. His responsibility is to socialize with the
prospects and to make them receptive to positive notions about the organization he represents. He
stimulates people to mingle and socialize under his roof. His business is creating an atmosphere for


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