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of Big Institutions- organizations have grown so big that it makes it difficult to communicate with the public. • PR professionals exist today to help interpret these
large institutions to the publics they serve.
Public Awareness and Media Sophistications- largely because of social media, issues reach thousands and even millions within seconds or minutes. • Individuals can be part of something almost instantly,
known as the “global village.”
Incidents of Societal Change and Conflict- minority rights, women’s rights, senior citizens rights, gay rights, animal rights, etc., have all been a part of large institutions, and therefore must be taken into consideration. • Activists are becoming more visible and
and the Growing Power of Global Media and Public Opinion- public opinion is an important force in democracies like the U.S., but also for oppressed people around the globe. Dominance of Internet and Social Mediaindividuals have become instant consumer and instant generators of communication.
examples of PR are bulletins found in Iraq from 1800 B.C. c. They told farmers of new ways to harvest, plow, and irrigate crops. This shows how persuasion was used to help a public reach a purpose- to grow more food, which betters the group, and then makes the group more wealthy. This would have allowed the particular group more wealth to trade for better clothing, utensil, and weapons.
Ancient Greece, politicians would ask for the help of sophists ( those known for reasoning and rhetoric) to help fight verbal battles. Sophists then gathered in amphitheaters to share the virtues of political candidates. This sets the stage for what we now know as lobbying (Lobbyists)
idea of Sophists being hired based on their skill has helped the profession evolve to where it is today. Should a PR professional be hired for skill while compromising their beliefs or values by representing an individual or organization that does not match those beliefs and values? Example: representing highly unethical brands, or celebrities with tarnished images when it goes against the PR professionals personal values.
Creel Committee was designed to help channel patriotic sentiments and raise the support of the U.S. role in the war. The committee’s use of verbal and written communications was what some argue the use of propaganda, boosted national pride behind the U.S. being in the war.
American Revolution- “No taxation without representation.” The public (colonists) influenced public opinion, communicated a message, and persuaded individuals at the highest levels. The Constitution- the fight between Federalists and Anti-Federalists led to a series of articles, newspapers, and pamphlets being distributed to persuade and influence public opinion.
was a significant time for public relations. Although many professionals do not like to consider the practices of the 1800s to be legitimate public relations, it is important to look at these individuals to help us understand how the profession has grown.
Taylor (P.T.) Barnum- used exaggeration, fraudulent stories, and staged events to secure newspaper coverage for his clients, his museum, and his circus. Midget-General Tom Thumb Soprano- Jenny Lind Jumbo the Elephant Joice Heth- He claimed was George Washington’s 160 year old nurse These came to be the first celebrities in the U.S. because of Barnum’s media use of promotion • • • •
Ivy Ledbetter Lee “Poison Ivy”- known as one of PR’s pioneers By the late 1800s most corporations and manufacturers cared little about public opinion. Lee understood social changes that needed to take place. He counseled is clients on better business practices that focused on honesty and directness. Corporate practices during the 1800s were deceptive and fostered suspicion and an unfavorable public opinion of anti-big business.
Lee graduated from Princeton and went to work for the Pennsylvania Railroad. While there, Lee was asked to downplay a rail accident in order to save the railroad from crisis. Lee argued that the Pennsylvania Railroad should tell the truth of what actually happened, admit the mistake, and share with newspapers how it would do better. By doing so, Lee believed that the public would be more satisfied with the “harsh” truth than being told lies. The railroad used Lee’s strategies.
Lee then went on to work for John D. Rockefeller, an oil baron of the early 1900s. During a strike at one of the iron companies, 53 workers, family members, wives, and children were killed. Lee was hired to control the negative publicity. He distributed fact sheets, which purely told the corporations side, which credited United Mine Workers who were trying to organize the mine workers. He also staged a series of events to help soften Rockefeller’s image as the tyrant corporate boss. And improved working conditions, which helped keep the union out of the mine. Lee worked for many years restoring the Rockefeller family image. One of his main urges was to get the Rockefellers to publicly show their charitable work.
complexly understood the uses of facts. He understood that facts were open to various interpretations, malleable and could be shaped. He interpreted facts so that the client could shine in the best light. “Spin”
Bernays brought sociology and psychology to the study of PR. Nephew of Sigmund Freud. Opened the first public relations firm in Boston in 1900. He is known as the “Founding Father of Modern Day PR.” Taught the first ever PR course at New York University in 1923. He believed that public opinion was not always rational. He believed that experts, leaders, and PR counselors needed to shape public opinion in order for people to stand behind it. Skeptics argued that PR professionals had hidden agendas, therefore only giving their own meaning to the facts.
was Bernays’ business partner and later his wife. One of the first women to work in advertising and PR; at the time the profession was one of the few professions accessible to women who wished to work outside the home. Today the profession is primarily made up of women.
The “mother” of During
the 1920s she edited the pamphlet called Contact, which explained the emerging profession of PR to America’s most powerful leaders.
key individual for shaping the role of the fashion PR professional. Bernays was hired by the American Tobacco Company after WWI. He was asked to develop a campaign that would help newly liberated women be more appealed to smoking. Bernays asked for his wife’s help with this.
the help of Bernays, Fleischman was able to pull off one of Bernays’ most wellknown campaigns, as well as, a campaign that changed fashion PR. The campaign consisted of women smokers riding a float in the Easter Parade in 1929, the cigarettes were titled “Freedom Torches”
At the time, the American Tobacco Company was producing Lucky Strikes cigarettes that were sold in a dark green package. Women did not perceive this color as being desirable or fashionable. Fleischman was able to work with many fashion designers from around the globe to influence them to use the green color in their fashion designs. Fleischman was also able to gather powerful and elite women to a gala where green was the fashionable color. Bernays and Fleischman also put together a green fashion show which sold the idea of a new trend in green to the press. The cigarettes quickly became an “accessory” for women. Ironically, Bernays did not allow his wife to smoke.
This was a practice that was used heavily in the 1900s. Pseudo event refers to manufacturing news stories. A pseudo event is any circumstance created for the purpose of gaining coverage in the media. Interviews, press conferences, TV and radio talk shows, awards shows, or any other activity staged at gaining public attention and media coverage. Fashion week, red carpet events, celebrity appearances, fashion shows, FNO, Victoria’s Secret fashion show.
Arthur W. Page
began working for AT&T’s first public relations vice-president in 1927. Helped maintain AT&T’s reputation as a proper corporate citizen. Page was one of the first few public relations executives to serve on a board of directors for many corporate boards.
sure management thoughtfully analyzes its relation to the public. To create a system that helps inform all employees about policies and practices. To create a system for employees who deal directly with the public the knowledge to be reasonable and polite to the public. To create a system that draws employee and public concerns to organizational management. To ensure frankness in telling the public about the company’s actions
12 schools offered major programs
in PR Today, there are over 200 programs Journalists’ love-hate relationships with PR professionals have become more of a relationship of love. Nearly 70 percent of newspapers copy from PR generated news releases.
scope of modern PR ranges from media relations, government relations, employee communications, public relations counseling, research, local community relations, audiovisual communications, interactive public relations, external affairs, corporate communications, public affairs, corporate relations.
has been around for thousands of years, but has shifted it purpose over the last few decades. The profession is growing amongst current students. Doris Fleischman had a huge impact on influencing fashion designers and fashion PR.
Seitel, F.P. (2011). The
Practice of Public Relations. Prentice Hall: Boston.
Vivian, J. (2009). The Media of Mass Communication (9th ed.). Pearson: