The Evolution of Public Relations
In order for us to understand how public relations have evolved through history, we must first understand what public relations are. Public relations as defined by (Wilcox and Cameron 2004) that Professors Long and Hazelton believe it to be, “ a communication function of management through which organizations adapt to alter, or to maintain their environment for the purpose of achieving organizational goals”(p.5). With that said we could now go back through history and discover how it has or has not changed through time. First, we will look at how effective public relations were almost from the beginning of time and how it was relayed to the masses. Second, we will discuss how public relations changed in the 17th to the 20th century and why it changed. Lastly, we will see how the past has defined what public relations is today and see how much it has evolved through time. Public Relation Beginnings
As long as there has been humans on this earth communication was the key to organization how people lived their everyday lives. There has always been one or more persons leaders of these tribes or groups. Within this groups it would be decided where they would live, when it was time to farm the lands or hunt for food, settle disputes amongst themselves and how to protect themselves from outsiders. These decisions were in turn related to the masses. This practice can be loosely described as public relations in its raw stage a one-way communication form. People had no say in how daily life was lived because decisions were made to keep life for them as organized as possible.
Public Relations in the 17th to early 20th Century
As time passed, the population grew and people moved about more freely, people began to change, as did technology. By the 1700's printer presses were invented and information became more readily available to the public. Before than information was slow in coming and the public was ill informed....
References: Cutlip, S. (1995). Public relations history: From the 17th to the 20th century. New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Neal, K. (2001). A primer on non-profit PR: If charity begins at home... Florida: Pineapple Press.
Starr, P. (2004). The creation of the media: Political origins of modern communication. New York: Basic Books.
Wilcox, D. & Cameron, G. (8th ed.). (2006). Public relations: Strategies and tactics: Boston. Allyn and Bacon.
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