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Public relations is a 20th-century phenomenon, barely 100 years old. In the 21st century, the field is evolving and improving every day. Today, most new professionals possess superior intellect and experience.
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Copyright 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall

Major 20th century trends:

Growth of big institutions

Heightened public awareness and media sophistication


Societal change, conflict and confrontation

Globalization and the growth of global media, public opinion and democratic capitalism
Dominance of the Internet and growth of social media
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Farm bulletins from 1800 B.C in Iraq Greek sophists and oratory skills Roman persuasive techniques in war Pope Gregory XV and propaganda
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The role of public relations in the Revolutionary War The Boston Tea Party The Federalist Papers The Bill of Rights

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Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. Why was this constitutional amendment so central to the development of public relations in America?

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Press agentry took hold in the 1830s with Amos Kendall, the first presidential press secretary, who served under Andrew Jackson.

Kendall: wrote speeches wrote news releases conducted public opinion polls produced a newsletter
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Circus master P.T. Barnum gained notoriety with written and verbal public relations techniques. Barnum staged bizarre media events and generated coverage of circus performers. Love him or hate him, Barnum pioneered publicity techniques that are still used today.

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As people flocked to cities, big business dominated industry.


William Vanderbilt, J.P. Morgan and John D. Rockefeller ruled the fortunes of thousands. The public be damned! attitude prevailed. Seeds of public discontent were sown far and wide.

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Enter the muckrakers

Upton Sinclair attacked the meat packing industry with The Jungle Ida Tarbell wrote History of the Standard Oil Company
McClures magazine struck out at industry
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What is the connection between the robber barons, the muckrakers and the rise of public relations in the late 19th century?

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Ivy Ledbetter Lee entered PR work in 1903.

He based his work on honesty and candor.

Lee believed, the public be informed.


He emphasized news value over ads or publicity stunts. He maintained that companies must strive to earn public confidence.
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Tell the truth, because sooner or later the public will find it out anyway. And if the public doesnt like what you are doing, change your policies and bring them into line with what the people want.
How does this quote reflect the modern-day thinking that revolutionized 20th-century public relations? Lets find out
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World War I: President Wilson created the Creel Committee to mobilize public opinion. World War II: The Office of War Information spreads the U.S. cause around the world.

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How have each of these U.S. presidents utilized public relations? Richard Nixon Ronald Reagan Bill Clinton Barack Obama

Were their efforts successful? How so?


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Edward Bernays entered the field in 1913 and became the first true public relations scholar.

Bernays wrote the first seminal works in public relations, including Crystallizing Public Opinion.
He taught the first PR course at NYU. Bernays helped pave the way for women in public relations with wife, Doris Fleischman.
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Copyright 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall

Counselor Harold Burson emphasized marketingoriented public relations:


to help clients sell their goods and services, maintain a favorable market for their stock, and foster harmonious relations with employees.

In 2000, Burson was named the most influential PR person of the 20th century.

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As 20th century rolled on, big business came back into style. Smart companies including General Electric, General Motors and AT&T learned that it takes both words and actions to earn a good reputation. PR legend Arthur W. Page became AT&Ts first public relations vice president in 1927.

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What were Arthur Pages five principles for successful corporate public relations?
How do they apply to todays business world?

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Today, more than 200 communication and journalism programs offer concentrated studies in public relations. The Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), formed in l968, has 8,000 student members at 300 colleges and universities. The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), organized in l947, boasts 22,000 members in 100 chapters nationwide.

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Should public relations education be incorporated into business schools? Why or why not? What is the importance of journalism students learning about public relations?

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Go online to revisit the public relations legends of the 20th century in the Museum of Public Relations: www.prmuseum.com

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The Popes Persuasive Public Relations Pilgrimage


Review this case on pp. 24-25. As a class, discuss:

What other public relations options did Pope Benedict have on his first American trip?
What was the downside of using the trip to highlight the Churchs pedophile scandal?

For more information on this case, go to: www.uspapalvisit.org/


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