Public Relations Committee
of the Society for American Archeology (1985-1991)...

These archival materials detail SAA outreach efforts 1986-1992 (overlapping at the end with the newly establishment SAA Education Task Force in the then newly formed Public Education Committee). These early SAA actions involve substantive proposals and activities including state-based coordination of resources, creation of bibliographies and brochures, outreach resources for the press, a press award, and integration of archaeology with school curriculum. Significant bridge-building to social studies educators and alliances with other archaeology societies are reported. These archival committee materials were provided by Alice Kehoe.

SAA Public Relation Committee Reports, Annual Meeting Minutes, Correspondence (1986-1991)
SAA Public Relations Committee Materials -- brochure text, press award proposal  (1986)

SAA Public Relations Committee Reports, Annual Meeting Minutes, Correspondence (1985-1991)...

SAA PRC Interim Report, November 1, 1987

Topics: alliance building, public engagement article, NCSS outreach. Reporting by Chair Alice Kehoe on how Chair is on the mailing list of the NPS Archaeological Assistance Division, SAA Bulletin article published on public engagement, proposed public outreach session for 1988 conference, contact made with Chair of the Nat'l Council for the Social Studies' Social Science Disciplines Committee about the inclusion of anthropology/archaeology in social studies.

SAA PRC Committee Report, March 31, 1988
Topics: Public Relations Guide for Archeologists, NCSS participation, Press Releases, alliance building. Report that Gabriel DeCicco completed a Handbook for Public Relations designed to be a reference and guide for archaeologists. Reminder that in 1986 the committee submitted a draft and cost estimate for a brochure on archaeology and the SAA that could be distributed by SAA. Suggestions that archaeologists attend National Council for the Social Studies conferences (at the behest of a social studies educator); best visibility a booth, presentations, arranging a site tour, channeling of brief reports on successful archaeologists' Press Release are being sent for publication in the Bulletin. Chair (Alice Kehoe) involved with AAAS by (a) critiquing the Project 2061 ("what constitutes science literacy?")draft report, and (b) is listed in the 1988 AAAS Science  Education Directory (under "Society for American Archaeology"). 

SAA PRC Meeting Notes, April 28, 1988
Topics: establish Public Education Committee, speakers bureau idea, NCSS booth, State coordination. Notes from April, 28, 1988 report on a management consultant recommendation that SAA set up a separate, non-profit, foundation for public involvement and education, enhancing the appeal of SAA to a broader range of persons and that the foundation should have: 1 Public Relations Director; l press officer; 1 education officer, as minimal professional staff. Proposal for establishing a self-funding speakers’ bureau providing a qualified archaeologist speaker to any group (e.g., Kiwanis, Rotary, schools), a recommendation that SAA should prepare a press release announcing such bureau, and a suggestion is put forward for a system for recruiting speakers. Members agreed that SAA should be more involved with school education and recommended SAA obtain booth at annual convention of National Council for the Social Studies, that SAA find out what curricular materials are available, or in preparation, on archaeology, and that the PR Committee will begin this project by asking readers of SAA Bulletin to send the Chair information on such materials and also place requests in Social Education (read by state social studies specialists). Suggestion that an archaeologist be engage to write a syndicated weekly column for newspapers (a press officer). Suggestion for slide programs and collections for public education and materials for primary and secondary education. Report on an annotated bibliography of materials on archaeology suitable for education use that was prepared under a grant jointly to AIA and SAA. 

SAA PRC Correspondence, A. Kehoe to AAAS' Office of Science and Technology Education (Nov. 15, 1988)
Topic: Response to AAAS request for comment on a Coalition for Education in the Sciences
. "Particularly from the experience of anthropology and archaeology, it is important that “science education” be viewed broadly rather than as technical  training.  Our experience among non-Western peoples brings out the biases that frequently obstruct creative and constructive thinking:  for example, failing to respect and learn from the scientific knowledge of uneducated people, or assuming that labor-saving machinery is the answer to economic problems.  We in these bridging disciplines urge the encouragement of interdisciplinary programs both for teachers and for students, to raise awareness of our culture as one among many, of our culture’s unexamined premises and their effects upon thinking, and to present cultural ecology, the interaction between humans, other forms of life, and the environment."

SAA PRC Report, October 16, 1989
Topics: journalism outreach, avocational certification program, Archaeology on Film, NCSS bridge-building.
Suggestions to Board regarding: media mailing list for publicity be used for mailing invitations to journalists to cover SAA annual meetings, certification program, offer to work with AIA to seek an NEH grant to publish a new edition of “Archaeology on Film. Kehoe suggests that President Sabloff visit the Executive Director of the National Council for the Social Studies, in Washington, and discuss with her how SAA might cooperate to assist in the incorporation of 'the excluded past' (Peter Stone’s term) into American social studies. Note that the November annual national meeting of NCSS, in St. Louis, will include two excursions to Cahokia. AAAS Project 2061 “Science for All Americans” reports have Archaeology entirely absent.
SAA PRC/PEC Inter-society Correspondence, February 16, 1990
Topic: SAA Social Studies Outreach Possibilities. This 1990 correspondence from Alice Kehoe (Chair of the SAA Public Relations Committee which previously undertook education and outreach and now member of the SAA Task Force on Education) to Ed Friedman (Task Force Chair) proposes several measures that SAA could undertake to the community of Social Studies Educators: forming an alliance for teacher institutes similar to that what the National Geography and National History Associations have done; creating disks with archaeology resources for distribution through social studies teacher networks, offering booths with informational fliers at national social studies conferences and encouraging archaeologists to present at sectional and regional social studies conferences, a recommendation to get involved with the national curriculum guidelines being proposed for history, join with other archaeology concerns undertaking social studies teacher programming.

SAA PRC Committee Report, March 19, 1990
Topics include: Notes establishment of SAA Task Force on Education.
Full text of entry: "Meanwhile, SAA has appointed a Task Force on Public Education, chaired by Ed Friedman (Bureau of Reclamation, Denver); I now serve on this Task Force, which seems to have a budget, though I think not directly from SAA.  Obviously, there must be overlap, not yet clarified, between the Task Force and the PR Committee." 

SAA PRC Meeting Minutes (April 20, 1990)
Discussion that an increasing proportion of archaeologists work exclusively in CRM but SAA continues to represent primarily academic archaeologists and the PR Committee should be concerned with reaching these people. Discussion about redoing an “Archaeology as a Career” booklet that might incorporate the PR committee’s proposed brochure. "Schoenwetter said the charge at the formation of the committee in 1985 had been to deal with (1) American Indians -- but this was immediately given to the Task Force on Reburial; (2) public education, beginning with a brochure; (3) avocational archaeologists.  Each of the latter two has now been given to a task force or another committee....Perhaps the PR Committee should serve by being alert to members’ concerns and bringing these to the attention of ExComm or an appropriate group." "Kehoe recommends a consortium of archaeological groups to cooperate in public education and outreach [President Sabloff is working on this]." From Kehoe: "Since much of the possible PR Committee business is now allocated to the Task Force on Public Education,* the Committee (again) recommends that a professional PR consultant be retained, or SAA make a staff member a press officer.  The PR Committee could then be advisory to this person...The Committee continues to recommend implementing plan for a speakers’ bureau, and publication of the brochure created in 1986. The Committee recommends SAA formally enter a consortium of archaeological societies (AIA, SHA, etc.) to jointly maintain a press office. *Care should be taken that the Task Force not appear simply an extension of the Federal program of public education and outreach. III. SAA must consider whether it is primarily “for American archaeology” or for practicing archaeologists.  The two goals do not always coincide neatly." SAA had a booth on the Mall in Washington on Earth Day.
SAA PRC Correspondence Related to Establishing State-based Coordinators for Outreach Information (1991)
This 1991 correspondence from Alice Kehoe, Chair of the SAA Public Relations Committee and member of new SAA Task Force on Education to Ed Friedman (Task Force Chair) recommends establishing listings, arranged by state/province, of opportunities for school teachers that can translate into classroom activities. These would be organized through a clearinghouse with copies of appropriate regional listings passed on to state/province social studies and science teachers’ periodicals.  Each state and province coordinator ( Newsletter reader) would mail these regularly to appropriate teacher newsletters.

SAA PRC Correspondence Chair A. Kehoe to member S. Bender (March 22, 1992)
Committee correspondence from Kehoe relaying the idea that program chairs in the future might print as a form to be submitted (required to be submitted), along with the title and abstract of papers, a Press Release; that a professional PR person prepare such a form so that the practioner could simply fill in the blanks of standard PR items (place, date, time, etc.) plus a paragraph or two written in popular style -- not simply repeating the abstract; and suggestion that the Press Release form be sent with notice of acceptance of paper, requiring that the form be returned within two weeks or by a specified deadline date.The formal notice of acceptance could suggest that a copy of the paper be sent in with the PR form, but not require that; The Press Room would then have files of all the press release forms available and would find it easier to select the papers to be highlighted to the press.

SAA Public Relations Committee Materials (1986-1992)

SAA Public Relations Committee Press Kit (1985)

Text of brochure prepared for journalists with a brief history of SAA, a definition for, and explanation of, both archaeology and prehistoric archaeology in the Americas.

SAA Public Relations Committee Proposal for Press Awards (1992)
Proposal for national and regional press awards for Best Reportage of an Archaeological Discovery of the year, Best Story on an Archaeological Topic in any medium, Journalist/popular writer whose work exemplified informed and responsible coverage of archaeological topics, Consistently informed and responsible coverage of archaeological topics by a newspaper, magazine or broadcasting series.

Page Coordinated by P.L. Jeppson.

Posted by J.R. Jeppson 07/02/06.