Posted by: Sarah Kemp | February 4, 2009

Evolution of Public Relations

After discussing the evolution on Public Relations on Monday, I was very surprised to discover how Public Relations came about in our country and the many significant people that were involved in the process. In the Age of Pioneers, 1900 to the 1950’s, I learned that the first publicity agency was established in 1900! I could not believe that the term publicity would have dated back that far, I am not sure why, but it surprised me.

I also found it interesting that Samuel Insull started “bill stuffers” in the 1900’s and is still such a popular way to receive information, as well as a major source of advertising for countless companies. I also was very proud to learn that our former President, Teddy Roosevelt had a part in public relations. Not only did he initiate the heavy use of press interviews and news conferences to support his political movements, but also his nickname “Teddy” was used for stamps, the actual teddy bear, and even bears in the Bronx Zoo.

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What surprised me were the types of clients and their tasks, and how they relate too many of today’s challenges. For example, Ivy Lee’s Public Relation Counsels major accomplishment was the railroad freight hike campaign. Lee used the basic principles and ethics to convince the public and the Interstate Commerce Commission to raise the rate for freight, basically by providing facts and displaying them in leaflets and getting the information public. Also, how George Creel was asked by President Wilson to have the nation unite before World War I reminded me of how our nation came together after September 11th, and how public relations can have such a large effect on our country. It made me think twice about how important the field of business that I could potentially work in was to the public. I would like to learn more about certain events or time periods in our country used public relations. Also, how public relations effects the public now and what tactics have work the best in the past. 

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