The history of public relations

Ever wondered how the business of public relations came into being and achieved so much success that no brand or celebrity can survive without it in the industry? As per here is all you must know about the history of public relations.

The business of public relations is not something that has just recently started. In fact, it has been around for at least a hundred years. People have conflicted opinions on the founder or father of this profession. Some say that this line of profession was introduced by Ivy Lee in the year of 1904 and the others are of the belief that that it was invented by Edward Bernays in the late 1920s.

Ivy Lee’s Contribution:

A good number of people believe that Ivy Lee was the one who invented the profession of public relations when he opened a counselling office in the year of 1904. Pennysylvia Railroads were one of his very first clients. Later in the year of 1906, he launched the idea of press release. According to his idea, the press release shall become a medium of spreading news about a brand or incident related to it before different media received different versions of the news from unreliable sources. This idea of his gained so much success that it is still being used after a hundred years. Says Roger from

Later, in the year of 1915, Lee Ivy became the publicist agent for John D. Rockefeller and gave him the advice of showing off his philanthropic side more often by handing out loose change or dimes to the children begging on roads. Ivy Lee’s success as a publicity consultant brought towards him some great opportunities which gave him the chance of deciding tag line for Wheaties, such as, “Breakfast for Champions” and also the symbol for Betty Crocker. Due to these facts, many people regard Ivy Lee as the actual founder of this line of business. His vision for this profession was not much as Ivy Lee confessed that he believes that this profession might die with his death.

Edward Bernays’ Contributions:

As compared to Ivy Lee, Edward Bernays’ goal for this profession was a lot bigger. He wanted to go global. He wanted to combine public relations with the principles of science which he had learned from his uncle, the renowned Sigmund Freud. He used the principles of overt acts and mass psychology for selling soap, cigarettes and bacon.

In the year of 1928, Edward Bernays was hired by the American Tobacco Company to solve a problem for the company. The problem that the tobacco company was facing was that it was not okay for the women to smoke in public according to the rules of society. George Washington Hill wanted to expand his market. So, with the help of a psychoanalyst named Dr. A.A. Brill, Edward Bernays came up with the idea to link smoking in public with the right of vote and equality that the women had recently acquired. So, that is what they did. The American Tobacco Company sold their newest range of cigarettes to women by launching a campaign in which the women marched down Fifth Avenue and held their cigarettes high as a symbol of freedom and smoked them in the public. This campaign was a huge hit for the American Tobacco Company.

This is how the business of public relations rose to a new height of success and that is why some people regard Edward Bernays as the actual founder and father of the profession of public relations. It has grown to the point that it has become a means of survival in the industry.

Post Author: Clare Louise'