Chapter 11 – Public Relations: Promoting Ideas
- Henry Ford in as early has 1914 announced that if he sold 300,000 model T’s that
year, each customer would receive a rebate of $50.
- Public relations is very important for businesses, it creates favourable images for
corporations, public figures, products, schools, and hospitals and associations.
- 3 ways make people do what you want them to do: 1) power, 2) patronage, and 3)
- Power can be ruling by law or peer pressure. Patronage is a polite term for
bribery, paying someone with favours or money to do what you want. Persuasion
is the act of using argument or reasoning to induce someone to do something.
PR helps shape public opinions:
- Augustus Caesar, in the first century had statues of himself made throughout the
empire so that his image would be enhanced.
- Before 1900s, businesses thought that they could work alongside the press or
ignore it. Then the industrial revolution arrived and industrialists began exploiting
workers for large profits. Reporters then reported these unethical conducts.
- President Theodore Roosevelt fed public sentiments by going against
industrialists and starting campaigns against their doings which got him very
popular with the American people, and obviously helped with his presidency
PR pioneer issues “Declaration of Principles”:
- First publicity firm opened in Boston, call the Publicity Bureau. Ivy Lee and
George Parker were the first public relation practitioners and had an office in New
- The Publicity Bureau was like a news outlet. Their stories were public, so they
claimed. But there were criticisms against them for secretly promoting railroads.
They denied secrecy, but the bureau dissolved in 1908 when Lee went to work as
a publicity agent for Pennsylvania railroad,
- Eventually publicity agents became very important in so many fields, and
especially for fundraising and advertising.
Government recruits PR professionals:
- WWI usa government set up the Committee on Public Information, organized by
former newspaper reporter George Creel. The lines between publicity and
propaganda were blurred.
- 1923, Bernays wrote the first book on public relations, Crystallizing Public
Opinion and taught the first course about the subject.
- Bernays and Ivy Lee were considered to be father of public relations. Bernays had
clients such as Proctor and Gamble, GM, American Tobacco Company. He was a
big shot PR professional.
- PR businesses boomed during the war years, and especially after WWII. Women Join PR firms:
- Doris E. Fleischman became one of the 1 women in PR when she joined her
husband, Bernays, in his PR firm.
- Other two women in PR were Leone stxter and Anne Williams Wheaton. Baxter
with her husband formed the 1 PR agency specialized in political campaigns.
- 1957, president Eisenhower appointed Anne Williams Wheaton as his associate
Professionals Promote Ethics Code:
- in the 1930s, requirements for PR work was loose. Henry Rogers, co-founder of
what was then the worlds largest entertainment PR firm promoted Rita Hayworth.
- Him and Cowan created phony stories and events, to promote Hayworth’s image.
journalists knew they were phony too but did nothing because it was selling well.
- Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) established its first code of ethics in
1954. This principle code still exists today to guide businesses PR firms.
However, PR still argue between beginnings of PR as press agencies and concept
of ethically representing a client’s business.
Public Relations at work:
- Financial Public Relations : provide information to business reporters. Business
editors like PR staff that can gain access to top management information.
o Bad PR operations are companies that hide things from the public or
ignore it. PR persons try to dodge questions and try to tell the reporter to
ask another source. “no comment”.
- Product Public Relations : the point is to use PR to sell products or services. Many
companies find that seeking publicity for a product often is less expensive than
advertising the product.
o PR can often work better than advertising. Wieden & Kennedy agency in
Seattle which used PR agency to make a large inflatable Nike shoe. It was
very successful and was much cheaper than contracting advertising
- Crisis Public Relations : when a company is facing an unexpected event that lead
to large criticisms and complaints, they hire these types of PR agencies to help
them bounce back to having a good relation with the public again.
o The Odwalla Case ; e-coli was found in juice which lead to illnesses and
killed a baby girl. Company then took to PR to try to compensate
customers for their support and made public announcement apologies.
o Toyota Case – 2010, recalled more than 2 million cars for accelerator