Nationalism and Globalization a PR Perspective

November 1, 2006 at 12:20 am Leave a comment

 Nationalism and globalization are often understood as dueling ideologies that can not cohabitiate. But, dispite the homogonizing effects of the global market place and the technology revolution, strong nationalistic ideologies pervade many public relations campaigns.

The idea of nationalism is often understood through a negative context, bringing to mind the Nazi era of 1939 to 1945, or in a more current sense, the idea of hyper-aggressive religious nationalism as seen in specific Islamic sectors. I consider nationalism to encompass ideas regarding lifestyle and heritage where in a modern sense nationalism represents a particular devotion to one’s country, culture, and langauge. In this sense, the new National Film Board mandate for 2006 is a perfect example because it seeks to represent Canadian perspectives and beliefs through film to a global audience. Here, the idea of nationalism represents the ideals that make Canadians unique as a culture of people. Bacially, the 2006 campaign hopes to realign the legacy of the NFB with new technology and make the company more connected to modern ideas. Coupled with the classic Heritage Moments and other legacy films, the NFB’s objective is to reconnect themselves with young and innovative talent to produce meaningful documentaries on issues pertenant to Canadians as a whole. The 2006 mission of the NFB speaks directly to the possibility of synthesizing of national values, the gloabl market place and technological innovations. To get a detailed outline of the NFB’s 2006 campaign check out

A second idea regarding the existence of nationalism within our homogonizing global community was the idea of creating a grassroots marketing plan. Kyle Potvin wrote an interesting article called “Successful Grassroots Marketing,” where she emphasizes the importance of building a loyal public in your immediate local.  I thought this was a unique perspective from a communications standpoint because as technology grows we are constantly trying to keep up and manage the new and improving communications mediums. Often, in the race to capitalize on these new techniques we forget about the simple and “old school” ideas of creating a buzz at home. Potvin emphasizes really basic ideas like involving your audience in taste tests, face to face communicaiton, and the power of participation to create loyal publics who will market for you if they truely believe in your company or product. In this sense, natonalism can be seen as the simple idea of marketing at home to the publics you know best, and have the most access to, rather than tackling cultures and publics you have little experience with.

Overall, it was interesting to realize that nationalism is still very much alive within Canada and that Canadians as a culture remain a unique perspective regarding national and international issues. The world does value what Canadians think and how we choose to project these views. I found the re-evaluation of the NFB’s mandate a very honest campaign and I hope it succeeds in creating a bigger buzz for Canada on the global stage. It is also important to remember the simple things like face to face communication in a world where we are all attached to Blackberrys and Ipod’s. I found it refreshing that old methods of really getting to know your audience were still effective. Maybe this is just me since I figure there is still nothing wrong with my cell phone being just a phone and I happen to still like the idea of snail mail. 🙂 b.

To have a look at Kyle Potvin’s article “Successful Grassroots Marketing” go to the London IABC site under article archives.

You can also download all 60 of the Heritage Minutes for Radio or TV at


Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

“Netiquette & the Electronic Era” Striving for Morality and Ethics Within Public Relations

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