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February 23, 2012
As We Were Then, and Now
Public relations is largely about context, the settings in which information is presented and considered, in which influence is sought and relationships fostered or not. Here's a fascinating grand scale context to consider: key differences in the U.S. as measured in the Census of 1940 as contrasted with the 2010 Census. The National Archives is shortly to release individual records from the 1940 Census for the first time. View some of the astounding key differences in the nation over those 70 years as presented here by the U.S. Census Bureau.

When the U.S. was on the eve of war with Germany and Japan, the Census tallied a population of 132.2 million. In 2010, we were 308.7 million strong. There were 37.2 million housing units in 1940, and 131.7 million in 2010. In the 1940 Census, sample occupations and industries were frame spinner, salesman, laborer, rivet heater, and music teacher. In 2010, representative job categories were computer programmers, human resource managers, clinical laboratory technologists and technicians, and special education teachers. And on it goes. This is a fascinating comparison exercise, with 21.2 million of us still around who have lived over the entire span.

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Doug Bedell has a background in journalism and PR and is the owner of Resource Relations LLC in Central PA, focusing on organizational and crisis communication. He’s the community manager of SimplyFair.net, a social network on fairness. On the Web, Doug’s at www.ResourceRelations.com. On Twitter, he’s @DougBeetle.
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