Anti-discrimination efforts as a public relations function of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Makarewicz, Francis E.
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The study has been undertaken to record the processes of the administration of civil rights statutes of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, primarily, showing that the administration of the laws by that state's agency, the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, was a public relations effort as well as a law enforcement effort. It was necessary to examine the agency, its background and its more recent posture. The examination included the laws administered by the department. A brief history of the subject of civil rights legislation starting with a presidential executive order in 1941 and continuing with such legislation in the states which have such laws was made. The study required a summary investigation into the public relations of the several states which had anti-discrimination laws. Supplementary material on the Massachusetts concentration was gained by personal interviews with officials of the department to ascertain attitudes regarding the work of the agency and individual concepts of public relations. The investigation disclosed that the individuals were well aware of their roles as public relations practitioners although in some instances their approaches differed. It was also evident that the agency was definitely trying to avail itself of all means in a public relations effort to administer the laws assigned to it. However, it was also noted that because of lack of greater communication between the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination and the legislature and executive department of the state, the commission's operating budget did not permit expansion of activities that might have made the department more effective. A greater budget could provide more elaborate and long range public relations programs to include more commercial publicity and branch offices throughout the state. The study of public relations in governmental operations has been neglected to a great extent. There is little on the subject as compared to public relations in commercial fields. This study might be a small stepping stone toward a vast unexplored region, both of government and public relations. It offers only some indication of approach to the investigation of public relations efforts within government. Perhaps with additional studies in this field, scientific public relations principles peculiar to government operations might be formulated. This would not only benefit public relations as a study, but could also provide the most efficient means by which public administrators might give citizens the information they need to make proper decisions that effect their welfare. [TRUNCATED]
Thesis (M.S.)--Boston University
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