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The Evolution of Public Relations | February 4, 2009

Chapter 2 – The Evolution of Public Relations

We took a round and each of us presented shortly what we found was the most important person or event in the specific era.

Early Beginnings in America:

The Virginia Company distributed flyers, brochures and pamphlets to Europe in order to try and allure immigrants to the New World. Along with the making of a new political system came the Federalist Papers.

The Age of Press Agentry and Hype

Phineas T. Barnum introduced new methods in how to promote and entertain e.g. how he made the dwarf Tom Thumb famous. This era is also known for its promotion of American railroads – an attempt to attract tourists to the Southwest which in many cases did pay off. On the political front the early 19th century also saw a development. Activist and social movements flourished througout the mid and late 19th century.

The Age of Public Relations Pioneers

This era is characterized by individuals. Most remarkable Henry Ford (industrialism), Ivy Lee (PR firm Parker and Lee), George Creel (Creel Commitee) and Edward Bernay (the father of modern PR). A lot of other personalities marked this era either through expertise, professional succes or simply just a strong personality.

Public Relations Comes of Age

Economic growth in America which meant that a large numbers of companies needed people with PR skills in order to communicate succesfully with the mass media. Therefore this era is known as a period where communication went through a revolution.

The Next 50 Years

We will see a constant technological development as the social media begins to dominate in several aspects. People will demand a 24/7 possibility of communicating with the outer world as well as always having access to the latest trends and news. People within the field of PR will request specialization in order to become as professional as possible in a certain area. The world of PR is constantly developing and therefore highly qualified communication people are in demand!

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Thrilled that life's treating me this good :) Currently away from family and friends in Denmark but enjoying US life!

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