The age of pioneers

February 7, 2011 at 10:27 am (Comm 2322 Topics of the Week)

I often wonder what it would be like if I grew up in the beginning of the 1900’s. It intrigues me to think about public relations just getting started, and the tactics that business men would use to promote a happy and healthy image to the public. Although public relations has come a long way since then, I think that I would have really enjoyed participating in public relations during this time.

At the time, the public was more wholesome and believed what they read in the papers. By telling a customer that the president of a company behaves and really is an “everyday man”, the public will really begin to see him as a normal person, and not a business tycoon. These strategies proved to be effective with Henry Ford, Teddy Roosevelt, and many others during this PR “age of pioneers”.

This was a time where all PR ideas were new ideas, and it was a trial and error basis in which the textbooks were being written on effective PR tactics. This is why I would love to have been apart of this era. It was less aggressive in protecting a widely publicized reputation, and more proactive in making clients want to purchase products in the name of keeping up with technology. I would have loved to practice the art of PR during this time of pioneers because not only would I be working with some of the most bright and influential leaders of society, but I would be in an environment where I could find strategies to make women feel more independent from the current lifestyle. This is exactly what Samuel Insull did when he “liberated” women from the household drudgery by promoting electrical appliances in the 1920’s.

I’m not saying that every idea on PR has been already used. I’m sure there is more to explore and think up. I would just have enjoyed the public being more receptive to a positive idea or image during a time where people were more wholesome.

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