Edward L. Bernays. The name struck no cord when I read it. Then, as I continued skimming through the passage, I realized Mr. Bernays may have been one of the most influential characters in the field of public relations. He was eventually deemed the “father” of modern public relations.
For this very reason, I have decided to choose this era as the most suitable time period, the early 20th century, to visit.
Perhaps my reason should be one with more sustenance, but it was apparent Mr. Bernays excelled in his field. To surround myself with his knowledge and background could only benefit my understanding of the industry more.
Considering, as I have stated in an earlier post, my knowledge of public relations is limited, I can use all the help I can get.
To elaborate a bit more on Mr. Bernays, I will discuss some of his contributions I find most interesting.
Edward L. Bernays was the nephew of Sigmund Freud, padding his status quo with a little more edge over his predecessors. Bernays’s tactic involved listening to the crowds, extracting the most important pieces of information, and then concocting a new, more persuasive message.
Aside from this, Bernays had a handful of “marketing” techniques for various companies. One example involved the promotion of Ivory soap, targeting younger children. Bernays developed an idea in which these children could create their own soap sculptures. The company eventually sold the product by the millions.
In addition to this, Bernays helped the promotion of ballet through clever advertisement and prestigious reviews. He also arranged an event for the celebration of the 50th anniversary of Thomas Edison’s invention of the electric light bulb.
Bernays impacted the world of public relations greatly. He set down some foundational building blocks for future employees of the field. He believed in mutual consensuses between the company and the public, without jeopardizing either side’s integrity. Entering into this era of public relations would be quite different to say the least, if only to be graced by the presence of Mr. Edward L. Bernays.
Sources: Public Relations: Strategies and Tactics Ninth Edition by Dennis L. Wilcox and Glen T. Cameron