Here are fascinating facts about public relations you probably have not known till now. Public Relations has been in existence since 37000–17000 BC. As a businessman/woman, marketer or entrepreneur you know very well that you need public relations to thrive in what you’re into. At different phases in our lives or brands, we have been exposed to Public relations to sustain our businesses. This post will point out fascinating facts about public relations you may or may not have heard.
Back in the day, do you know that;
- Benjamin Franklin’s Book “Poor Richard’s Almanack” is one of the first PR books and a fine example of content marketing. This book was indeed rich with examples of content marketing and it sold thousands of copies in annual publications yearly. This increased greatly incredible demands for the paper and printing business that Benjamin owned.
- Public relations started back then with Cave art. When we talk about civilization for PR, we must remember Egypt. From the earliest days back then, they communicated with cave drawings telling stories of their Egyptian Pharaohs. These were called sacred carvings, even the Greeks’ noble learned rhetoric from sophists. Communication management practice is an ancient practice in the field of PR.
- Public Relations was used to build trust during The Great Depression in 1929 – 1933. In the history of America, The Great Depression affected all areas of lives including business communications. When there was a turndown in the economy, companies mainly sort to build their trust than sell their products. In order to survive, brands turned to public relations rather than advertising. This plunged PR into the top billing organizational charts with over 60% in those times and this did not end until after world war II.
- A fascinating fact about public relations is that the first public relations agency, “The Publicity Bureau,” was founded in 1900 by former Boston journalist George Michaelis. This agency worked for 12 years and then it evaporated, it wasn’t heard of again. Thankfully PR didn’t die because of the Fathers of PR Edward Bernays and Ivy Lee who stayed consistent.
A little Tip on the Ice of PR memory lane is a fun fascinating fact about public relations…
- PR is not always about Crisis. When PR is talked about, it doesn’t just cover only crisis situations and these are not what PR is only known for. There was a time in history when a PR campaign was done for the sole purpose of feeling good in the modern era – Dove’s “Real Beauty”. In 2004, Dove’s research discovered that only 2% of women consider themselves beautiful. This PR campaign on “Real Beauty” objective was to change idealized depictions of beauty by using “real” women as spokespeople, models, and more. In today’s world, this campaign is synonymous with Dove and others like Crew and CVS are following the trends like Dove with Beauty campaigns.
- Ivy Lee Published the First Press Release in 1906 on behalf of the Pennsylvania Railroad. A tragic incident occurred in the Pennsylvania Railroad, Ivy rather than concealing the facts issued a statement to reporters. This led to the first press release being born! The press release secured praise for the railroad’s honesty and was even reprinted in the New York Times.
Read also about the Top 10 Ways People Often Perceive Public Relations In Our World Today
- In 1914, Ivy Lee reformed the wealthy Rockefeller family image with another PR milestone. There was a deadly coal strike that had put the family under the intense scrutiny of the public. The Rockefeller family hired Ivy lee and he did create a PR campaign to secure a positive goodwill report. He included government relations, media relations, and even public appearances tactics that required John D. Rockefeller to meet with the miners personally. Before this meeting with them, he had taken some time to visit their families so he could understand the situation better. This campaign elevated Public Relations onto a much larger platform than ever before and helped define the industry’s relationship with corporations.
- The first PR firm owned by a Black woman named Inez Kaiser was opened in 1957. It was also the first business in Kansas City, MO started and run by an African American.
- The first Black-owned PR firm was founded in 1934 by Joseph Varney Baker in New York City and was in operational for 40 years.
He was also the first Black president of PRSA’s Philadelphia chapter and the first Black journalist hired to write for the Philadelphia Inquirer.
- A woman named Denora “Denny” Griswald founded the first public relations newsletter PRNEWS in 1944 still in operation today.
Other fascinating facts about Public Relations…
- In 1904, the phone that Ivy Lee once had in his office was a candlestick phone. Now, this is currently at the Museum of public relations as an artifact.
- Edward Bernays and Ivy Lee are known as the founding fathers of public relations. They were each other’s greatest competitors in the early 1900s. Ivy Lee is popularly addressed as the father of modern-day crisis communications. You can see he founded the Press release as an idea to manage multiple crises with the above examples.
With These Amazing fascinating facts about Public Relations, I have been able to show or refresh your memory about its history.