PR Pulse: Happy Birthday, Ben

Historian Walter Isaacson dubbed Benjamin Franklin "America's first great publicist." Part of this can be attributed to how Franklin promoted himself - Isaacson, in his recent

biography on the Founding Father, noted how Franklin "carefully crafted his own persona, portrayed it in public, and polished it for posterity." Part of this can be attributed to

how he helped create an American brand image, particularly in his delicate diplomatic endeavors in selling the nascent republic to skeptical European governments during the

Revolutionary War. Franklin was also America's first celebrity publisher (Poor Richard's Almanack and the Pennsylvania Gazette). This year marks the 300th

anniversary of Franklin's birth, and celebrations include the touring museum exhibit "Benjamin Franklin: In Search of a Better World" and a series of U.S. commemorative stamps

(and, yes, Franklin was also the first American Postmaster General).