Marilyn's Life From East to West

Chapter 2- The Evolution of Public Relations
March 27, 2009, 5:08 am
Filed under: Reading Notes

Chapter two was especially interesting to me because I loved learning about the history of PR.  This is the most interested I have been in a class so learning about ots history makes it all the more enjoyable.  In order to be successful in a career, I find it imperative to know all of the background information.  Prior to reading this chapter, I had no idea public relations had such a drawn out history.

The number one aspect of the chapter that caught my attention was reading that in the 1800’s, John Burke promoted Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show.  Now, I found this to be so interesting because Wild Buffalo Bill Cody is actually in my family and where I get my MIDDLE NAME from!  From reading this among other examples, the idea of public relations proves to be important because if shows and ideas were not promoted then significant events and people in history may not be as recognized.

A second part of the chapter I found interesting was the section on Theodore Roosevelt.  Although the idea of public relations had been around for quite sometime, although not under that name, it had yet to been used by a president.  Theodore Roosevelt was the first president to use news confrences and press interviews in order to obtain public support.  I can’t imagine how the public would even be able to make an informed decision without confrences and information coming from both candidates.  He took press and photographers to Yosemite National Park to get positive press coverage for the creation on more forests and national parks.  Clearly, this tradition has gone on strong since his presidency and a good thing because the public is now constantly informed about the government and just about every other aspect of the world.

A third, and very significant part in history is Edward Bernays.  He is known as the “Father of Public Relations” and made an everlasting footprint on the idea of PR.  One of his first promotions was for cigarettes and to advertise this idea he had socialite women light up cigarettes during the New York parade.  By making this move he promoted cigarettes to women and thus opening up an entirely new target market for the company.  Another significant event was Light’s Golden Jubilee which was a ceremony to honor Thomas Edison.  He had such a dramatic impact on public relations and made campaigns similar to what goes on today.  He involved the public, catered to the company, and sold his message which is what PR practitioners should base their goals on.

These are just few of the many interesting facts I found, but keep checking for more from the other chapters!


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