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Public Relations History: Getting where you want to go by knowing where you’ve been!


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Presented by: …

Presented by:
Michael Tullier, APR
2009 Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) Workshop
Public Relations Society of America-Alabama Chapter
October 7, 2009

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  • 1. Public Relations History:
    Getting where you want to go by knowing where you’ve been!
    2009 Accreditation Workshop
    Michael Tullier, APR
    October 7, 2009
  • 2. First, you’ve got to know where you’ve been…..
  • 3. Six Major PR Eras
    Seedbed Era (1900-1917)
    World War I (1917-1919)
    The Booming 20s (1919-1929)
    The FDR Era (1930-1945)
    Post War (1945-1965)
    Global Information Society (1965-today)
  • 4. Pre-Seedbed Era (1865-1900)
    characterized by
    Rapid industrial growth
    “Public be damned” attitude
    Protect company at all cost
    Guard release of information
    Pit management against employees
  • 5. Amos Kendall
    US Postmaster General under Jackson and Van Buren
    Key member of Jackson’s Kitchen Cabinet
    Excelled at creating events to mold opinion
    Known as pollster, counselor, ghostwriter and publicist
    Considered by some first presidential press secretary
    Amos Kendall
  • 6. Theodore N. Vail
    Pioneered corporate public relations with A&T
    Understood the necessity for improving relationships between corporations and public
    Theodore N. Vail
  • 7. George Westinghouse
    Created first corporate PR department
    George Westinghouse
  • 8. Seedbed Era (1900-1917)
    Bernays Period: Public be informed. Muckraking, social reform, unions
    PR Trend: Defensive publicity. Journalists hired as interpreters to get the news out.
    Key PR Figures
    Ivy Lee Jr.: full disclosure, tell truth
    Pres. Theodore Roosevelt: bully pulpit
  • 9. Ivy Ledbetter Lee
    “Founder of modern PR”
    “First public relations counsel”
    Created “Declaration of Principles” issued to journalists
    Supply news/ensure company’s work is open, accurate, transparent and prompt
    Among first to recognize publicity needs to be supported by good works
    Ivy Lee
  • 10. Theodore Roosevelt
    First president to exploit news media as a new and powerful tool of presidential leadership
    Audio and film
    Theodore Roosevelt
  • 11. Publicity Bureau
    US’s first publicity agency and forerunner of modern PR firm
    established in Boston in 1900
    Used tools of fact-finding, publicity and personal contacts to saturate media with railroad propaganda
    Harvard College was its most prestigious client
  • 12. World War I (1917-1919)
    Bernays Period: Public be informed. The war to end all wars.
    PR Trend: Organized promotion. Promote patriotism. Use interest groups.
    Key PR figure:
    George Creed: The Four Minutemen
  • 13. George Creel
    Chairman of WWI Committee on Public Information
    Used publicity to mobilize public
    Started “Four Minutemen” spokespersons from key opinion leader groups
    Creel Committee secured media space to promote Liberty Bond investments
    George Creel
  • 14. The Booming 20s (1919-1929)
    Bernays Period: Mutual understanding
    PR Trend: Promoting products. WWI publicity techniques used for social science.
    Key PR figures
    Edward Bernays: Crystallizing Public Opinion ‘23; Propaganda ’28
    Arthur Page: Performance = Reputation
  • 15. Edward Bernays
    “The father of public relations”
    Coined “public relations counsel”
    Wrote first PR book: Crystallizing Public Opinion
    Taught first PR course at New York University
    First to call himself PR professional
    Edward Bernays
  • 16. Arthur Page
    AT&T VP of Public Relations, 1927-1946
    First PR professional to serveas an officer/member of a corporate board
    Helped set standard for corporate PR
    ‘company’s performance would be determined by its public reputation’
    Arthur Page
  • 17. The FDR Era (1930-1945)
    Bernays Period: Social responsibility, mass publicity. Depression. WWII.
    PR Trend: Mass media.
    Key PR figures:
    Louis McHenry Howe: responsible performance; persuasive publicity
    Elmer Davis: Office of War Info.
    FDR: “Fireside Chats”
  • 18. Louis McHenry Howe
    PR adviser to FDR until he died
    Helped FDR develop concept of “Fireside Chats”
    Recognized that mutually beneficial public relationships could be built by coupling responsible performance with persuasive publicity
    Howe, with FDR
  • 19. Elmer Davis
    Director of WWII Office of War Information
    Pioneered widespread use of radio, Hollywood and media to publicize war effort
    Elmer Davis
  • 20. Post War (1945-1965)
    Bernays Period: Professionalism. Post-war service economy, consumerism
    PR Trend: Credibility, associations form (PRSA), Code of Ethics written, College curricula develop, TV
    Key PR Figures:
    Rex Harlow: PRSA
  • 21. Rex Harlow
    “Founder of public relations research”
    Probably first full-time PR educator
    Founded the American Counsel on Public Relations
    Through mergers of other organizations ultimately became PRSA in 1947
  • 22. Global Information Society (1965-today)
    Bernays Period: Mutual adjustment
    PR Trend: Accommodation. Systems Theory. Management by Objective. Functional vs. Functionary Approach. Technology
    Key PR figure:
    Marshall McLuhan: Canadian educator, understanding media, “global village,” “the medium is the message.”
  • 23. You’ve got to know where you’ve been…..
  • 24. …to know where you’re going!
  • 25. Where are you going?
    Computer-based Exam
    Short Bookshelf
    Online Study Course
    Study Guide
  • 26. Questions? Need More Info?
    Michael Tullier, APR334.844.1324 (work)
    “APR Interest Group”