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

5 February 2013

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Queen Elizabeth I: Part 1

Here is the second in my series profiling important figures in PR. It is the first of a two-parter looking at Queen Elizabeth I of England (1558 – 1603). (I am working my back to the Romans and Greeks who got this whole game going.) Read on ›

Categories: History of PR / Opinion research

7 January 2013

8 comments

Psychobabble will not make PR credible

Blimey, talk about the emperor’s wardrobe. Look around, and PR professionals will quickly come across a new-ish crop of pseudo-science which is supposed to guide them as to what their trade is and how to do it. They shouldn’t need the warning. But some, such as participants in The Holmes Report’s recent Global Public Relations Summit 2012 in Miami, who discussed ‘Persuasion, Empathy, and Neural Coupling‘ and ‘Unlocking the Brain’s Secrets About Creativity And Decision Making‘, seemingly need it stated plainly. This stuff is likely to be claptrap. Read on ›

Categories: CSR reality check / History of PR

9 July 2012

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The rumble in the jungle: modern PR’s Edwardian birth

The International History of Public Relations Conference 2012 is convening in Bournemouth, England, this week. I’m not going. But I thought I’d use it as a hook to explore the long-forgotten story of a barbaric British company that was eventually pursued to destruction by Sir Edward Grey, a leading Liberal and British Foreign Minister (1905 -1916). I think it marks the birth of modern corporate PR.  Read on ›

Categories: Crisis management / History of PR / PR issues

22 February 2012

6 comments

Why Chaos Theory in PR is hogwash

I have noticed that there’s an increasing interest among PR pros in chaos theory. It might be because we’re in recession, the result of recent earthquakes and tsunamis, or even the new complexity that social media throws up. But whatever motivates them, here’s some insight into why they are misguided. Read on ›

Posted by Dr. Andrew Calcutt

Categories: Dr Andrew Calcutt / Guest Writers / History of PR / Media issues

13 June 2011

2 comments

Hairy Days for Journalism

On the night of Wednesday 8th June, Alastair Campbell issued a stark warning to British journalists. Speaking ‘in conversation’ with Bill Hagerty, editor of British Journalism Review, New Labour’s former spin doctor warned that journalism risks losing even more integrity by shifting its ‘centre of gravity’ further towards celebrity culture. Read on ›

Categories: Energy issues / History of PR

12 March 2011

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Living and working at Chernobyl, 1995/6

Working at Chernobyl in 1995 was an amazing experience. I was the only westerner living in the new town of Slavutych that was built to replace the abandoned city of Pripyat. In addition, I was the only westerner working full time at the power station. This gave me an insight into a closed world that was as thrilling as it was unique. Read on ›