Introduction to Public Relations
Part One
Public Relations…The Profession
Chapter 2
A Brief History of Public Relations, Part 2
Lesson 2B
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© 2004 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
Introduction to Public Relations
An Assignment Reminder…
Before viewing this lecture, please read the
following material:
Public Relations: The Profession and the
Practice, Chapter 2: The History of Public
Slide 2 of 35
A Conceptual Schema for Studying Public Relations
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
The Profession
The Process
The Publics
The Practice
Chapter 2
falls here.
Affairs and
Action and
Law and Ethics
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Introduction to Public Relations
In Part One—Chapter 2, Our
Focus is the History of PR
We will look at the history of Public Relations
after the industrial revolution and the changes
that have occurred in the field.
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Introduction to Public Relations
Today’s Learning Objectives are…
Discover how two major forces influenced the
development of public relations in the United States
during the 1930s.
Trace how PR became a respected and sophisticated
profession during the post-WWII era.
Comprehend how public relations is currently
changing at the start of the 21st century.
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Introduction to Public Relations
Events That Reinforced the Idea of
Mutual Influence
Two mid-20th century events significantly
shaped the American culture.
The Great Depression
World War II
Those events also influenced the development of
public relations as an agent of mutual influence.
How did the Depression affect public relations?
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Introduction to Public Relations
The End of Corporate America’s Era of
The Great Depression (1929-1939) witnessed thousands
of bankruptcies and the vanishing of great wealth.
Business was viewed as a failed
institution, unable to sustain
Corporate public relations
became less negative and
more of a positive and
continuous program to rebuild
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After the Wall Street crash of 1929, the Dow
Jones did not recover its lost stock points until
the mid-1950s.
Introduction to Public Relations
The Depression Brought Compassion
Workers looking for work in the
Great Depression. Click the
image to see what life was like
in the 1930s.
Photo © 2001 Inc
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Public relations people began to
emphasize a new approach to their
publics—one of seeking mutual
influence through understanding
(Stage 3).
They sought to understand the
desperate needs of their publics.
They facilitated acts of
compassion on the part of their
Introduction to Public Relations
The Prestige of the Populace
The flow of capital and production evaporated after the market
crash of 1929.
The need for an informed public became more vital as government,
business and labor competed for public support for the use of limited
Persuasion and publicity could be effective only when they
were coupled with responsible performance.
The practitioner was called upon to help organizations pursue
responsible performance to increase public respect.
War gave PR a permanent place in government…
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Introduction to Public Relations
Military Adopted Public Relations
in World War II (1939-1945)
The deteriorating military and political situation in
Europe caused the military to increase its practice of
public relations in the 1930s.
Each branch of the service built its own public relations
apparatus to promote its particular form of warfare.
The Army's PR efforts employed 3,000 military and civilian
How Hitler captured public relations…
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Hitler’s Nazi Party Became
Masters of Public Relations
The greatest application of public
relations techniques in the 1930s occurred
in Germany.
Click here to read
The Nazi propaganda machine under
Joseph Goebbels viciously used press
The Nazis demonstrated both the dangers and
the effectiveness of propaganda.
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about the Americanborn Axis Sally. She
made propaganda
broadcasts for Radio
Berlin in
Hitler's Germany.
Introduction to Public Relations
US Office of War Information
Mobilized a Nation
In June 1942, with America fully engaged in the
war, the Office of War Information (OWI) was
established under Elmer Davis.
A massive public relations effort was mounted to
rally the home front.
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Introduction to Public Relations
OWI Developed a Broad PR Campaign
The goal of the Office of War Information was
to implement massive mobilization strategies:
selling war bonds
rationing food, clothing, and gasoline
planting victory gardens
recruiting military personnel
promoting factory productivity and efficiency
Read these posters through
the eyes of a soldier’s wife…
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Images that Mobilized a Nation at War
These posters were printed for the Office of War Information and retrieved from the National
Archives and Records Administration web site at
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Introduction to Public Relations
Influx of PR Practitioners after WWII
Click on the picture to hear about PR after WWII.
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Introduction to Public Relations
The Legacy of the OWI
Remains Today
Several important communication agencies that are still active
today trace their beginnings to OWI:
United States Information Agency (USIA)
The Voice of America radio network
The first broadcast (1942) of the VOA was in German, intended
to counter Nazi propaganda. By 1945 the VOA was
broadcasting in 40 languages weekly.
The Advertising Council
In war the foundation was laid for sophistication of
public relations in business.
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Introduction to Public Relations
Post World War II Era Saw
Increased Sophistication
The post war era witnessed tremendous growth of public
relations as a sophisticated profession.
Practitioners such as Earl Newsom with Standard Oil (1945) were
increasingly invited to participate in policy decision making.
During this period, new emphasis was placed on public relations
functions (other than marketing) and on more sophisticated PR tools
(e.g., audience analysis).
Carl Byoir used public relations techniques to raise money nationally
to help polio victims and to find a cure for the crippling disease.
A place in the university…
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Introduction to Public Relations
Development in Education and Ethics for
Public Relations
Boston University established the first school of
public relations (1947).
Two years later, one hundred colleges and
universities offered classes in the subject.
In 1954, the Public Relations Society of
America (PRSA) developed the first code of
ethics for the profession.
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The society set up a grievance board for code
enforcement in 1962 and a program of voluntary
accreditation in 1964.
Introduction to Public Relations
Moss Kendrix Changed Perceptions
about African-Americans
Moss Kendrix (1917-1989) was a public
relations pioneer in transforming racial
Kendrix used advertising to influence how
Americans viewed black citizens.
American icons such as Carnation, the
Ford Motor Company, and the Coca-Cola,
employed Kendrix to create campaigns
that targeted the black community.
Click on the image to read about
Kendrix’s amazing legacy. Photo
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Introduction to Public Relations
Increased Role of Government in
Organizational Life
Business/government relations became increasingly
important as the federal government entered a new era
of regulation.
Such regulations came in part because
of several issues in the 1970s-80s:
civil rights and equal opportunity
urban problems
nuclear power
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March 1965 civil rights march travels 54
miles in Alabama regarding voting rights.
Photo taken from
Introduction to Public Relations
The Present and Future Developments
Profound Current Changes in Public Relations
From manipulation to
From items to issues
From output to input
From external counselor to
internal team member
From firefighters to fire
From marketing to
From illegitimacy to
From program to process
From craftsperson to manager
From U.S. profession to global
Let’s briefly define each of these changes…
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Introduction to Public Relations
From Manipulation to Adaptation
Organizations continue to rely on practitioners
not to manipulate public opinion but to help the
organization adapt to it.
Organizations realize that differing needs and
interests of relevant publics serve as legitimate and
interactive forces on company goals.
This transition leads to successful two-way
communication based on willful acceptance and
mutual benefit.
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Introduction to Public Relations
From External Counselor to Internal
Team Member
The practice of using outside hired guns for crisis
management evolves into the practitioner participating
on the policy/decision-making team.
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Leaders understand that
interpreting and applying
insights from public opinion
require specialized knowledge
and skills possessed by the PR
Organizational decision
making begins with a wiser
foundation that increases
company prestige and helps
avoids crises.
Introduction to Public Relations
From Marketing to Management
Public relations has evolved from an arm of the sales
effort to a management function.
This allows the integrated marketing strategy of using
feedback from relevant publics to drive business adaptation.
The prime responsibility of public relations becomes
providing the information and environment in which
management can function most effectively.
PR contribution to the marketing effort as a staff function
moves down a notch in priorities.
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Introduction to Public Relations
From Program to Process
Now it is recognized that public relations functions must
seamlessly integrate into the continuing task of how
business is done.
Producing isolated PR projects can help but will never allow
the organization to realize the potential impact of healthy
public relations.
Programs may accomplish specific goals, but the public
relations work is never completely finished as it pursues
an integrated process of:
1. Research
3. Action
2. Planning
4. Evaluation
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Introduction to Public Relations
From Craftsman to Manager
The specialist is now seen as an important part
of the internal management team, not just a
communications technician.
Communication skills (writing, speaking, editing,
and media) are still vital but must be a part of a
larger role.
Overall strategic integration of tasks into
corporate policy is a necessary part of the public
relations management function.
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Introduction to Public Relations
From Items to Issues
Issues management is the identification of key issues
confronting organizations and the management of
responses to them.
Successful issues management requires ongoing monitoring
of external and internal environments in order to evaluate
their impact upon organizational goals and objections.
Instead of being given a list of media jobs, the
practitioner now submits to management a list of
sensitive issues vital to organizational success.
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Introduction to Public Relations
From Output to Input
Public relations as a management function gives
input to the organization from its contact with
external publics.
This change reaffirms the need for effective twoway communication and influence with publics.
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Introduction to Public Relations
From Firefighting to Fire Prevention
Effective public relations does not
exist merely to clean up messes
once they are made, but seeks to
avoid such dilemmas.
A proactive approach anticipates
and acts upon potential problems
before they become actual crises
for the organization.
This role is greatly enhanced
through use of the four-step PR
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Introduction to Public Relations
From Illegitimacy to Legitimacy
Because of the effective efforts of pioneers like
Bernays, public relations representatives are
generally no longer viewed with suspicion.
Practitioners now have professional status and
accepted standards for ethical behavior through
organizations like PRSA (Public Relations
Society of America) and IABC (International
Association of Business Communicators).
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Introduction to Public Relations
From U.S. Profession to Global
Borders are no longer barriers as markets and
media operate worldwide 24-hours a day.
Cultural, language, and legal differences make
global public relations more difficult, but rapidly
evolving communication technology has made
these barriers less of a factor.
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Introduction to Public Relations
Review of Principles from the
Second Millennium
From the second millennium lesson, we realized that…
1. Historical leaders influenced their worlds through timely mixtures of
passion and words.
2. Even powerful people cannot ignore the opinion of the public.
3. Democracy is dependent on a strong, opinionated public.
4. An intentional and sustained campaign to broadly influence the public
can be very effective.
5. Publishing one’s successes affects indifferent public opinion.
6. A wide distribution of rational appeal to the public’s values influences
their thinking and behavior.
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Introduction to Public Relations
Review of Principles from the
Industrial Revolution
The public relations profession was born in the industrial age
through dynamic changes in American life.
Organizations must accept the need to deal with public opinion.
In a media-strong democracy, the public can powerfully express its
PR professionals help organizations avoid costly expressions of public
discontent in an age of fierce competition for public support.
Public relations evolved through three stages:
Manipulation through press agentry
Cooperation through open information
Mutual influence through understanding
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Introduction to Public Relations
Review of Principles Since 1930
The Depression-War era led public relations to value
mutual influence and develop massive, sophisticated
strategies to communicate with and influence the public.
Public relations became a respected, sophisticated and
expanded profession during the post-WWII era, largely
through governmental and public influence.
Currently public relations is evolving as a force for
adaptation to public concerns on vital issues.
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Introduction to Public Relations
In Summary…
Since its inception, Public Relations had
undergone several changes. These changes were
usually brought about by changes in the
environment in which people lived. Practitioners
must be aware of the history of PR and anticipate
changes in the present and future of Public
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Course: Public Relations: The Profession and Practice