In our January 2020 edition, this column began its celebration of Black History Month with a remembrance of Joseph Varney Baker (1908-1993), who is believed to be the first black man to own a PR firm. This month’s edition remembers the first African-American woman to own a PR firm in the U.S.
Stories by JARED MEADE
Joseph Baker opened his PR firm in 1934 in NY. At the time, depending on where he was, Baker, a black man, might not have been able to vote, enter a restaurant or use public restrooms. When the firm closed some 40 years later, Baker had all those rights and more. Through his position as the first African-American owner of a PR firm, he became a key liaison between the black community and corporate America.
This is one in a series of articles about the history of PR as part of our celebration of PRNEWS’ 75th anniversary. The series is part of a partnership with the Museum of Public Relations. This article looks at Ivy Lee, considered the father of PR. Some 100 years ago Lee established foundations for much of what PR pros do to this day. The list includes the press release, crisis communications and branding, which he did for John D. Rockefeller.
Do you need inspiration? You might find some during a visit to the Museum of PR in NY. In this second of a series of articles about the history of PR, our writer visits the Museum and describes its wonders. The series celebrates the 75th anniversary of PRNEWS.
The Museum of PR and the NY chapter of the Hispanic Public Relations Association are teaming for their 3rd annual salute to Latino PR professionals. The goal is to make sure current PR pros recognize the contributions of Latino communicators to the history of PR.