Politics’ Ties to PR are Nothing New and Include Industry Pioneers

BY Jared Meade, Museum of PR/President, NW OH Chapter, PRSA

Millions will enter polling stations and vote for the next president. While many of us have watched this election closely, few have considered PR’s role. Whether used positively or negatively, all candidates deploy PR in some form.

This is nothing new. PR and politics have naturally and inherently bonded throughout recorded history. Owing to the negative connotations that can come from the connection between PR and politics, many communicators may find it difficult to reconcile this.
The Long, long History of PR and Politics
The Ancient Greeks and Romans emphasized rhetorical prowess. Prominent historical figures such as Elizabeth I, Georgiana Cavendish and Alexander Hamilton mastered image management. Today’s politicians use social media.

PR didn’t become a formal occupation until 1900, when three former newspapermen, George V. S. Michaelis, Thomas Marvin and Herbert Small, founded the Publicity Bureau, in Boston.


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