Archeologists see added benefit of PR

WASHINGTON, DC: In what may be one of the first PR efforts on behalf of archeology, the northern Virginia office of Parson Engineering Science is seeking a public-outreach coordinator.

WASHINGTON, DC: In what may be one of the first PR efforts on behalf of archeology, the northern Virginia office of Parson Engineering Science is seeking a public-outreach coordinator.

WASHINGTON, DC: In what may be one of the first PR efforts on

behalf of archeology, the northern Virginia office of Parson

Engineering Science is seeking a public-outreach coordinator.



The company is looking for someone with a working knowledge of

archeology as well as communications expertise. ’This is the first I’ve

heard of them hiring somebody to do public outreach for archeology,’

said Thomas Wheaton, executive director of the American Cultural

Resources Association.



Susan Henry Renaud, president for the Society for Historical

Archeology, painted the picture of a profession in transition. ’We’re

moving out of the Ivory Tower and into the real world,’ she said,

noting that archeologists have rarely placed much emphasis on PR.



Nor have engineering firms or public departments, Wheaton added. ’We

try to convince our clients of the importance of opening up what we

find to the public,’ he explained. ’Clients are becoming aware that the

public likes to see displays of cultural and historical artifacts. It’s

good PR.’



Wheaton, who also heads the New South Associates consulting firm in

suburban Atlanta, said that archeologists are clearly becoming more

PR-savvy. ’Last year at our annual conference, a PR agency, a cultural

resources management firm and a school principal discussed how we can

develop what we find into formats that are interesting and available to

the public,’ Wheaton said. After all, he noted, the work is often

directly or indirectly funded by taxes.



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