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Hidden Figures of PR: Putting a Long-Overdue Spotlight on African American PR Practitioners

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When you think of the pioneers of the public relations profession who comes to mind? The Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations hosted a free webinar on Thursday, May 4, 2017, titled “Hidden Figures in PR: Putting a Long-Overdue Spotlight on African-American PR Pioneers."

Our textbooks taught us the pioneers of our profession—Ivy Lee and Edward Bernays—but this webinar shined a light on those the textbooks missed. Students, educators and practitioners will discover the “Hidden Figures in PR.”

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Hidden Figures of PR: Putting a Long-Overdue Spotlight on African American PR Practitioners

  1. 1. Hidden Figures in PR: Putting a Long-Overdue Spotlight on African American PR Practitioners @PlankCenterPR #PlankWebinar
  2. 2. Meet the Panelists Denise Hill, Ph.D. Assistant Professor, Strategic Communications Elon University Alicia Thompson, APR Managing Director Porter Novelli Jada Culver PRSSA President The University of Alabama
  3. 3. • 15 year-old high school boy in Texas • Geography class textbook • Map of the United States • Section on ‘Patterns of Immigration’
  4. 4. Immigrate/immigrant • to come to a country to live there • to enter and usually become established; especially : to come into a country of which one is not a native for permanent residence (Merriam Webster)
  5. 5. • Published 1994 • 776 pages • Focuses on PR agencies and their founders • 17 pioneers (no minorities) • 15 men • 2 women
  6. 6. • Published 1995 • 284 pages • How PR played a role in important milestones/events i.e. the Revolutionary War, the westward expansion, various presidential campaigns • Includes Clara Barton and the founding of the American Red Cross, but excludes the women suffrage movement. – Mentions abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison
  7. 7. • Pendleton Dudley (1876) • Ivy Lee (1877) • Carl Byoir (1886) • Arthur Page (1883) • John Hill (1890) • Edward Bernays (1891) • William H. Baldwin (1891) • Harry Bruno (1893) • Earl Newsom (1897) • Ben Sonnenberg (1901)
  8. 8. The Unseen Power: Public Relations, a History • In the prologue, Cutlip noted that critics may lament the book’s absence of black public relations counselors and the dearth of women. This omission, he asserted, “is a fact of history, not a choice of mine.”
  9. 9. The Unseen Power: Public Relations, a History “…a fact of history, not a choice of mine.”
  10. 10. Ida B. Wells-Barnett
  11. 11. • Ida B. Wells-Barnett • Born 1862 • Journalist, editor, suffragist, activist • Anti-lynching campaign – Public relations elements – Research • Key messages – Publicity – Speaking engagements • Took message overseas • Died 1931
  12. 12. Henry Lee Moon
  13. 13. • Henry Lee Moon • Born 1901 • Director of Public Relations, NAACP – 1948-1974 (26 years) • BA and MA in journalism, Howard University and Ohio State, respectively • Previously journalist and press agent for Tuskegee Institute • Died 1985
  14. 14. • 1954 Brown v. Board of Education • 1963 March on Washington • 1964 Civil Right Act • 1965 Voting Rights Act • 1968 Fair Housing Act
  15. 15. Joseph V. Baker
  16. 16. • Joseph V. Baker • Born 1908 • African American journalist and public relations specialist • Temple University – BA in journalism • Reporter - Philadelphia Tribune and first Black columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer. • Director of the Division of Negro Research and Planning with the Pennsylvania State Department of Labor and Industry. • Chaired and founded a public relations firm, Joseph V. Baker Associates. Clients included Association of American Railroads, Procter and Gamble Corporation, and Chrysler Corporation. • Retired from Joseph V. Baker Associates early 1980s. • Died 1993.
  17. 17. Moss Kendrix
  18. 18. • Moss Kendrix • Born 1917 • Early 1940s- Worked in Treasury Department in the War Finance Office promoting war bonds • In 1944, Moss Kendrix became the director of public relations for the Republic of Liberia's Centennial Celebration. • 1944 founded the Moss Kendrix Organization – Coca-Cola • Died 1989
  19. 19. Inez Kaiser
  20. 20. • Inez Kaiser • Born 1918 • Inez Kaiser & Associates in 1957 • First African-American, female-owned public relations firm in the country. • First African-American woman to head an agency with national clients • First African-American woman to join PRSA • Died 2016
  21. 21. Ofield Dukes
  22. 22. • Ofield Dukes, APR, Fellow-PRSA • Born 1932 • Degree in journalism • WCHB—director; The Michigan Chronicle • Government public affairs roles– President Lyndon Johnson and Vice President Hubert Humphrey • 1969—Ofield Dukes & Associates – Motown Records, Sony Music Entertainment, RJR Nabisco, Congressional Black Congress • Died 2011
  23. 23. The Unseen Power: Public Relations, a History “…a fact of history, not a choice of mine.”
  24. 24. The Unseen Power: Public Relations, a History “…a fact of history, not a choice of mine.”
  25. 25. Questions
  26. 26. Thank you. Similar webinars are on-demand at plankcenter.ua.edu. @PlankCenterPR #PlankWebinar

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