PR Series 10-1: PRO Area Control:
“The extent of one’s PRO area control can be measured at once by counting up the points one is not controlling from the company or org viewpoint and the points one IS controlling.”
Joburg Org – the continental headquarters of Scientology in Africa, has been situated in it’s ideal premises in the suburb of Kensington since November 2003.
For a brief period before and after Joburg reached St Hill size in 2005, the org was involved in many community activities – Drug Free marches and other 3D campaigns were active – VM’s, WTH, Gung-Ho groups etc. The field & org staff had a great sense of camaraderie and enthusiasm in undertaking these projects. At that time, the church was recognised and appreciated for the role it took in community development and betterment.
But it was not to last.
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JUMPING ON THE BANDWAGON
Bandwagon meaning: “An activity or cause that has suddenly become fashionable or popular”.
It’s no secret the church is notorious for seizing fundraising and PR opportunities when tragedies result in human suffering and misery. As Tom Cruise famously stated in the leaked IAS video “because being a Scientologist……you know you’re the only one that can help”.
Although using such situations for PR purposes has been a long-standing strategy of the church, it was steeply increased following the tragedy of 9/11. The church acknowledged this in numerous self-generated press releases such as this one which states: “The work of these volunteers at Ground Zero New York inspired a movement that now circles the globe—Scientology Volunteer Minister Disaster Response teams on call 24/7 in times of disaster”.
The press release further blows the church’s horn with: “They served in the aftermath of the 2004 South Asian tsunami, Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the 2010 Haiti earthquake, the 2011 Japan tsunami and hundreds of disasters great and small in countries around the world”.