Wednesday, June 17, 2009

"It is about reputation"

Public Relations as a concept is as old as civilisation. According to Edward Berneys who is the nephew of Sigman Freud, and considered one of the founders of PR as a profession or when public relations consultantancy emerged, had something very interesting to say about the evolution of this profession.He said there are three essential elements that make up this job: informing people,persuading people and bringing people together.

Public Relations is an image building tool which is widely used by companies, corporations and individuals alike.It is considered as a managment function which tries to establish mutually benefical relationships between its organisation and its publics.

As the Institute of Public Relations rightly puts it "it is about reputation".The result of what you do; what you say and what others say about you. How true! In a nutshell these few lines tell us the core of what this profession is all about.

Before we get into the history of PR we must understand that just like any other profession this one too has been affected by several factors such as political, social, cultural and economical, which eventually shaped it.

Throughout history, spread across the world we see this profession shaping up, changing and adapting itself with the changing trends across the world.

Pimlott (1955) and others said that the trend of public relations originated in the U.S. The origin of public relations as a profession was in the media & publicists who specialized in promoting circuses, theatrical performances, and other public spectacles (We must thank the journalists for the evolution of this profession!).
The First World War also helped stimulate the development of public relations as a profession. Ivy Ledbetter Lee, a former Wall street journal reporter, Edward Bernays and Carl Byoir were some of the well-known PR consultants at that time. Other countries have only replicated the public relations as practiced in the US. In Europe, public relations as a profession got a boost post world war II. Institute of Public Relations (IPR)and the Public Relations Society of America, PRSA were premier institues started in the late 40s for the advancement of public relations professionals and the profession itself.

Thus, Public Relations as a profession developed around the world due to many factors. In India too Public Relations saw its own origin. Public relations in India is 2000 years old. It has evolved since the days of Emperor Asoka, around 320 B.C. where he used rock tablets as a tool to communicate with the public. Modern public relations was born during the struggle for freedom, in the reign of the British where a number of newspapers at that time were virtually their mouthpieces. The history of Public Relations is as vast as it is fascinating. The story continues...


  1. Sure.will be putting up some very interesting facts on PR in the Indian context...

  2. hi madam,
    i am priyanka, igtc student. ur lecture was fantastic. it was like i was in the new world of media, glamour, popularity. thnks for everythng. there is a lot to learn from you though PR is not my interest field. bt it is necessory to learn social networking & other thngs. will be in touch.....see u soon...