Understanding Ivy Lee’s Declaration of Principles U.S. Newspaper and Magazine Coverage of Publicity & Press Agentry, 1865-...
Sherman Morse, 1906 <ul><li>“An Awakening in Wall Street,”  The American Magazine  (September) </li></ul><ul><li>Quotes Le...
Background <ul><li>Robert E. Brown – PR theory based on inaccurate understanding of history </li></ul><ul><li>Stoker & Raw...
Early media relations <ul><li>DeLorme & Fedler – early press agentry linked to bribes, extravagant language, stunts and ho...
Research Question and Method <ul><li>How did newspapers and magazines discuss publicity and press agentry in relation to b...
Method <ul><li>Terms </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“publicity” or any form of “press agent” AND “business” or “industry” or “compa...
Newspaper & magazine discussion <ul><li>1860s: very little discussion </li></ul><ul><li>1870s: two camps </li></ul><ul><ul...
1880s <ul><li>Both threads continue, but get more complex </li></ul><ul><ul><li>More than half discussed publicity in the ...
1880s <ul><li>Several articles on press agents  </li></ul><ul><li>Never defined or explained the term </li></ul><ul><ul><l...
1890s <ul><li>Continued to focus on making something public, “publicity was given” </li></ul><ul><li>Publicity as a soluti...
1900-1904 <ul><li>Publicity as a protective measure to both corporations and the public </li></ul><ul><li>Pres. Theodore R...
1900-1904 <ul><li>Went beyond just government-mandated release of financial information </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Two articles...
1900-1904 <ul><li>Press agent(ry) continued to be applied almost entirely to theater, opera, circus (11 articles) </li></u...
Discussion <ul><li>Change not so much the meaning as in the agency of publicity </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Something newspapers...
Discussion <ul><li>Corporate publicity did not “evolve from” or even replace press agentry </li></ul><ul><li>Developed sep...
Where do we go from here? <ul><li>More databases, additional keywords </li></ul><ul><li>Research on press agentry (leading...
Conclusion <ul><li>Sherman Morse </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“The new plan has not been in effect long enough to enable one to s...
Conclusion <ul><li>But public and government expectations of the corporation had changed </li></ul><ul><li>Lee and others ...
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Understanding Ivy Lee

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Top Research Award paper for the PR Division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, August 2008

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  • Understanding Ivy Lee

    1. 1. Understanding Ivy Lee’s Declaration of Principles U.S. Newspaper and Magazine Coverage of Publicity & Press Agentry, 1865-1904 Karen Russell & Carl Bishop, UGA
    2. 2. Sherman Morse, 1906 <ul><li>“An Awakening in Wall Street,” The American Magazine (September) </li></ul><ul><li>Quotes Lee’s “declaration of principles” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“In brief, our plan is, frankly and openly, on behalf of business concerns and public institutions, to supply the press and public of the United States prompt and accurate information concerning subjects which it is of value and interest to the public to know about.” </li></ul></ul>
    3. 3. Background <ul><li>Robert E. Brown – PR theory based on inaccurate understanding of history </li></ul><ul><li>Stoker & Rawlins – “publicity” changed from “public interest in public affairs” to “putting something over,” 1890-1930 </li></ul><ul><li>Literature makes it clear there were organized attempts to influence media coverage before 1890 (including corporations) </li></ul>
    4. 4. Early media relations <ul><li>DeLorme & Fedler – early press agentry linked to bribes, extravagant language, stunts and hoaxes </li></ul><ul><li>Context for Lee’s declaration </li></ul>
    5. 5. Research Question and Method <ul><li>How did newspapers and magazines discuss publicity and press agentry in relation to business and industry from 1865-1904? </li></ul><ul><li>Database searches </li></ul><ul><ul><li>American Historical Newspaper Database </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Historical Newspapers Online </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>American Periodical Series Online </li></ul></ul>
    6. 6. Method <ul><li>Terms </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“publicity” or any form of “press agent” AND “business” or “industry” or “company” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>159 articles </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1860s: 4 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>1870s: 14 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>1880s: 27 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>1890s: 40 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>1900-1904: 74 </li></ul></ul>
    7. 7. Newspaper & magazine discussion <ul><li>1860s: very little discussion </li></ul><ul><li>1870s: two camps </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“Publicity” meaning “making something public” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>X “gave publicity” to something </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Sometimes presented as a remedy to corporate misdeeds (Stoker & Rawlins) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Debut of the press agent </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Atlanta Constitution on circus advance man </li></ul></ul></ul>
    8. 8. 1880s <ul><li>Both threads continue, but get more complex </li></ul><ul><ul><li>More than half discussed publicity in the sense of making something public </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mention of “publicity without charge” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mention of preventing publicity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Thus publicity beginning to develop into a more purposeful business enterprise </li></ul></ul>
    9. 9. 1880s <ul><li>Several articles on press agents </li></ul><ul><li>Never defined or explained the term </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Four articles on “press agent Somerville” of Western Union (and quoted in three others) </li></ul></ul>
    10. 10. 1890s <ul><li>Continued to focus on making something public, “publicity was given” </li></ul><ul><li>Publicity as a solution: “Publicity Will Cure Evil” – headline in the New York Times </li></ul><ul><li>Greater attention to theater and circus press agents </li></ul><ul><li>Two articles on publicity in today’s sense (World’s Fair, railways) </li></ul>
    11. 11. 1900-1904 <ul><li>Publicity as a protective measure to both corporations and the public </li></ul><ul><li>Pres. Theodore Roosevelt, Dec. 1901 message to Congress about trusts included need for “corporate publicity” </li></ul><ul><li>Amendment to bill that created the Dept. of Commerce in 1903: Bureau of Corporations to investigate, provide information to President (15 articles) </li></ul>
    12. 12. 1900-1904 <ul><li>Went beyond just government-mandated release of financial information </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Two articles applied “publicity” to unions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Logo competition for St. Louis Fair </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Publicity efforts made by organizations </li></ul></ul><ul><li>10 articles in old “publicity was given” sense; 36 used in Rooseveltian sense </li></ul>
    13. 13. 1900-1904 <ul><li>Press agent(ry) continued to be applied almost entirely to theater, opera, circus (11 articles) </li></ul><ul><li>American League Baseball and Coney Island also had press agents </li></ul><ul><li>Two negative references to corporate press agents (railroad, insurance) </li></ul>
    14. 14. Discussion <ul><li>Change not so much the meaning as in the agency of publicity </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Something newspapers “gave” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Something business/industry provided </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Lee’s quote </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ In brief, our plan is, frankly and openly, on behalf of business concerns and public institutions, to supply the press and public of the United States prompt and accurate information concerning subjects which it is of value and interest to the public to know about.” </li></ul></ul>
    15. 15. Discussion <ul><li>Corporate publicity did not “evolve from” or even replace press agentry </li></ul><ul><li>Developed separately and for different reasons </li></ul><ul><li>Government action appears to have been a significant catalyst in the rise of corporate public relations, although several important PR historians have worked to debunk the “PR-caused-by-muckraking” myth </li></ul>
    16. 16. Where do we go from here? <ul><li>More databases, additional keywords </li></ul><ul><li>Research on press agentry (leading to Bernays) </li></ul><ul><li>Study the debate over Roosevelt’s call for corporate publicity as a turning point in PR history </li></ul>
    17. 17. Conclusion <ul><li>Sherman Morse </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“The new plan has not been in effect long enough to enable one to see its real meaning. Much depends upon whether it results in disclosing all the facts in which the public has a right to be concerned, or whether it results in merely obtaining for the corporations greater publicity for such facts as are directly favorable to them.” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Right to be skeptical of Ivy Lee…? </li></ul>
    18. 18. Conclusion <ul><li>But public and government expectations of the corporation had changed </li></ul><ul><li>Lee and others saw that “corporate publicity” could work in the corporation’s favor </li></ul>

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