History of PR

When we understand the past we’ll stop reinventing the wheel and recognise original thinking when we see it. Here I examine the history and influences that have shaped modern public relations.

Categories: History of PR / PR issues / Trust and reputations

15 August 2015

3 comments

Contribution to “global conversation on global public relations standards”

Professor Anne Gregory and Jean Valin have asked readers of PR Conversations (PRC) to get involved in their project to produce a Global Body of Knowledge that defines the capabilities that proficient public relations practitioners should possess.  I am taking up that challenge here by critiquing their attempt to elevate public relations into a respected profession by defining the professional qualifications that PR pros must acquire. Read on ›

Categories: History of PR

29 December 2013

3 comments

Are modern PR thinkers spinning Isocrates’ legacy? (revised Dec 2013)

Back in January, I gave a lecture on the moral bankruptcy of the shame culture in ancient Greece to Associate Professor Josh Greenberg‘s fourth-year undergraduate class. Afterward, a debate arose about Isocrates’ legacy. It revolved around whether his ideas and lived-example laid the foundations for what some practitioners refer to as the morality of modern ethical two-way symmetrical public relations. Read on ›

Categories: History of PR

12 November 2013

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Homer and the origins of public relations

Here is the first of two essays on the rise to power of public opinion and the origin of public relations. This one deals with archaic Greece (circa: 800 BC – 500 BC). It outlines the emergence of artistic freedom and individualism on the rocky road toward democracy. The second will interrogate the contest system, the shame culture, mistrust, and openness to change and risk in Classical Athens. It will look at what happens when public opinion is not engaged critically. Read on ›

Categories: History of PR

25 May 2013

5 comments

Assessing PR’s debt to Cicero

When I look at Cicero’s legacy my purpose is not simply to focus on ancient Rome. My intention is to produce a narrative that distils one of the pivotal moments in history to illuminate how Cicero influenced the birth of modern public relations and the world it inhabits. Read on ›

Categories: History of PR / Political spin / PR issues / Reviews

12 March 2013

One comment

Queen Elizabeth I: PR Icon (part 2)

This second installment of a two-parter on Queen Elizabeth I describes how PR acts in support of leadership and authority using rhetoric’s persuasive powers. It tells the story of the emergence of modern PR practice and the modern world it shaped. (It is work in progress for my book: On Message: Propaganda, persuasion and the PR game.) Read on ›