Recognizing PR Queen Cleopatra for Women’s History Month
I’ve always been enchanted by Cleopatra through books, movies (Elizabeth Taylor nailed the role!), and even a ballet produced by Artistic Director Ben Stephenson of Texas Ballet Theater. She was strong, commanding, and intelligent, not to mention seductive and bold. It wasn’t until I read a prose by Dr. Shannon Bowen that I thought of her as a pioneer in public relations.
Cleopatra VII ruled Egypt as a complete monarchy from March 52 BC until her death in August 31 BC. She was the world’s last pharaoh and built her empire based on public relations including strategy, communication, crisis management, events, and social responsibility.
Did you know that Cleopatra was well versed in 10 languages, allowing her to speak to her people in their native tongue? She utilized spies to gather facts and information in order to create strategic plans. She created community outreach programs to notify the public about floods and crop irrigation. She held events with horses, musicians, rare animals, athletes and foods to gain popularity and trust. She extravagantly gifted other politicians to build allies, such as her prized Arabian horses to Mark Antony.
Thank you, Cleopatra, for being a public relations innovator and continuing to influence and inspire centuries after your death. You are my inspiration for Women’s History Month. For additional reading by Dr. Bowen about Cleopatra, visit Brewminate.
– Susan Friedman