The Evolution of Public Relations

This week in my Introduction to Public Relations class we are learning about the evolution of PR. It was very interesting and some things were rather surprising. One thing that really surprised me was that public relations had ancient beginnings having to do with hieroglyphics as an “old-school” publicity release. It was also interesting to read that the Roman Catholic Church in the middle ages was a major practitioner of public relations and the first organization to use the word propaganda. I thought it was really cool that PRWeek has called the Boston Tea Party “….the greatest and best-known publicity stunt of all time…”. Colonial American public relations also includes Thomas Paine’s Common Sense and the Federalist Papers, which were both two huge strides in the independence of our country. I was pleasantly surprised to see all the positive affects public relations has had on our society. I was happy to hear that one of my favorite presidents of all time, Teddy Roosevelt, was a big promotion and publicizing pro. Teddy Roosevelt was actually the first president to make extensive use of news conferences and press interviews for support when the Legislation system was unsupportive. I learned that the economy after World War 2 led to a rapid growth in public relations and the next growth period for the industry was the 1950’s when television emerged and public relations expertise was vital. I was happy to see that public relations is now a female-dominated industry and as of the year 2000 women made up 70% of the workforce. I would like to learn more about the 24/7 news cycle and how to best tackle this hurdle. In general I would like to focus on expanding my knowledge about the transformation of the field and what will be the best assets to acquire when preparing to enter this career.

This information comes from Public Relations:Strategies and Tactics


February 4, 2009. Reading Notes.

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