Propaganda & Mass Persuasion: Roosevelt for Greater Good

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Roosevelt for Greater Good

in Chapter 12 of Stuart Ewen's PR, he describes the close connection President Roosevelt held with the idea od conversation with the public. This is best expressed when he writes:

"To ensure this flow and to further his commitment to "Jeffersonian" principles, Roosevelt would promote the federal government not merely as an instrument of "directive intelligence," but as a "clearing house for the exchange of information and ideas, of facts and ideals, affecting the general welfare." The government would rather opinions from around the nation, he pledged, and disseminate ideas for greater good. In a historic battle between the vested interests and the forces of democracy, FDR was looking for a "modern substitute for the old town meeting, and the talk around the stove." (Ewen pg 242)

Roosevelt was one of the first Presidents to work hard in gaining a relationship with the people he would be leading. He worked hard to restore the image of the government after the Hoover administration scarred it.

During the depression many Americans were upset with the government and placed them as the blame for their economic woes. Roosevelt worked to gain their trust through public mediums such as newspapers and the newly emerging radio.

Roosevelt would personally talk with ordinary people. He would also deliver his programs piece by piece to reporters so that readers could understand better. Roosevelt spoke on the radio in order to reach out directly to the public, and not go through the twisting of words made by reporters. These moves made Roosevelt more accessible to the public, and vice versa.

Roosevelt did a great job at communicating with the people he was leading. He gained their trust and let them know that he cared for his nation. It reminds me a lot like Obama now, with his addresses to the public through radio, tv,newspapers, and the internet.


Blogger A. Mattson said...

A good post.

Yes, Roosevelt's use of radio to establish a more intimate, converstational connection with the public was a triumph of modern persuasion. The use of the weekly Fireside Chats broadcast into the living rooms of America was very effective. Will Obama be able to create a similar connection with emails and text messages sent directly to your phone?

3/18/2009 1:53 PM  

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