Exploring Public Relations by Ralph Tench, Liz Yeomans

By Ralph Tench, Liz Yeomans

'The definitive educational textual content in PR -  Comprehensive idea, modern rules, foreign examples & functional circumstances'

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Harlow was also a key figure in the establishment of the Public Relations Society of America in 1947. 1 shows key historical publications in American PR. Britain: public interest in private opinions While commercial interests adopted and drove the development of PR in the United States, it was the public sector, and local government in particular, that was the driving force behind the early use of PR in Britain (see Chapter 30). 1 of PR in Britain, with the exception of Jacquie L’Etang’s (2004b) professional history.

In the UK the views of the majority of the population, tested over time through polls, appear to be in favour of a ban. Many writers have expressed concern about the inherent nature of the individual – more interested in, and persuaded by, emotional arguments and events than logic and politics. If the democratic state is supposed to take public opinion as its guide for what is important to the population, then an emotional public is not necessarily going to provide the best information. Finally, researchers on public opinion in the twentieth century expressed reservations about the ability of the public really to understand the complexities of modern democracies and argued that it was the job of communications channels such as the media to simplify politics and government so that the public could understand and get to grips with matters of importance to them (Lippmann 1922).

While Baerns points out that these statements have not necessarily led to a black and white distinction between advertising, PR materials and ‘pure’ journalism in the modern media, the existence of the debate does highlight the cultural dynamics that frame PR practice in Germany. As in the United States and Britain, the First World War brought with it new opportunities for press relations and propaganda by the state and this growth in the practice and understanding of the discipline led to a corresponding flourishing of the profession in the post-war years.

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