Microcosm, U.S.A.: a study of a small town
Saul, Hilda Noones
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The selection of Microcosm was based on its isolation, both geographical and from the technology of the present time. The elements of the town can be exposed clearly due to the relative sparseness of the stimuli operating on it. The purpose of this study is first to present a complete background of the town's history and institutions and the attitudes of its people and second to present guidelines for public relations programs so that any new Town Manager might put forward his efforts in a more successful manner than in the past. The history of the town and its institutions was gathered from libraries, public documents, governmental and private sources. The attitudes of the townspeople relative to the town, its institutions and the selves were studied by eans of depth interviews and questionnaires. These two bodies of data furnish a newcomer to the town with sufficient material so that he can more quickly establish the rapport he needs to become effective. Since no natives are being trained as Town Managers, this paper serves a real need in this respect. Guidelines are presented for conducting public relations programs based on today's generally accepted methods. These are amplified by specific recommendations as to how to conduct these programs in concert with the town's needs and personality. The effects of not considering such methods in the past are demonstrated. Where practical, data is presented in tabular form. A study of the effectiveness of future Town Managers, if they use good public relations methods as compared with past performance, could yield a quantitative assessment of such practice. Also, it is suggested that the background and attitude study be periodically updated so that this work can maintain its effect.
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