COMM11110 – Module 2 blog topic: The earliest PR campaign you can find

Module 2 Blog Topic: What is the earliest PR campaign you can find? What are the signs that this is to do with PR and not simply advertising? Is there anything in the campaign that could not be used today? Why not? Give at least two references to illustrate your post.

Public Relations Institute of Australia (2015) provides the definition of public relations as being a deliberate, planned and sustained effort to establish and maintain mutual understanding between the client and the public. Public relations practitioners evaluate public attitudes, they identify the policies and procedures of a client with the public interest. After that they then plan and execute a program of action to earn understanding and acceptance (Public Relations Institute of Australia 2015).

Wilcox, Cameron, Reber, & Shin (2013) states that, the earliest PR campaign that is not simply advertising is Ivy Ledbetter Lee’s public relations dealings as a consultant to the Rockefeller family and CF&I company during the Ludlow Massacre in April 1929. The first sign that it was to do with PR and not simply advertising, was his first advice talking Rockefeller out of using advertising as a form of combating negative publicity (Wilcox et al. 2013). The second sign that it was not simply advertising was, that he communicated to all parties involved; thereby, making his assessment of public opinion to inform his public relations tactics. Lee utilised information from the press and articles to advise him on the best course of action. Ivy Ledbetter attended government hearings giving frequent testimonials for the Rockefellers and CF&I (Wilcox et al. 2013).

Through his use of public relations; Ivy Ledbetter Lee managed to prevent United Mine Workers from gaining a position in the CF&I mines. He was later to be named one of the forefathers’ of public relations, making four important contributions to public relations. Well, in today’s ethical rules I do not believe that the false or incorrect information that was used in the leaflets would have been allowed, but, other than that I am unsure what else could not be used today in Public Relations.

Figure 1: Public-relations-history-getting-where-you-want-to-go-by-knowing-where-youve-been-1-728 Source: Tullier M 2009 (2010)
Figure 1: Public-relations-history-getting-where-you-want-to-go-by-knowing-where-youve-been-1-728 Source: Tullier M 2009 (2010)

Figure Reference

Tullier M 2009 (2010), Public relations history getting where you want to go by knowing where you’ve been 1 728, digital image, APR slide share, viewed 11 May 2015,http://image.slidesharecdn.com/publicrelationshistory-100416215134-phpapp01/95/public-relations-history-getting-where-you-want-to-go-by-knowing-where-youve-been-1-728.jpg?cb=1271456300

References

Public Relations Institute of Australia 2015, History, viewed 11 May 2015, http://www.pria.com.au/aboutus/overview-and-corporate-profile/overview-and-corporate-profile

Wilcox, D, Cameron, G, Reber, B & Shin, J 2013, Think public relations, 2nd edn, Pearson Education, New Jersey.

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