PR Transits the Ages

PR Transits the Ages

Pedersen, Wes

“We are living in an age of publicity. It used to be only saloons and circuses that wanted their names in the paper, but now it’s corporations, churches, preachers, scientists, colleges and cemeteries.”

– Humorist Will Rogers, 1931.

“[In the sports world of the 1930’s and 1940’s), you were a press agent or a publicity man, [not a PR man]. Period…”

– Veteran sports writer Irving Rudd, 1990.

“[By mid-century, if not earlier], public relations had become a way of American life and livelihood; ham-fisted Barnumesque methods had given way to surveys and polls, and a newborn ‘science’ began to call itself the engineering of consent.'”

– Journalist James R. Gaines, 1977.

[As we know public relations today], the Boston Tea Party was an overt act staged to dramatize American resistance to British authority.

– Edward L. Bernays, 1952.

“The counsel on public relations not only knows what news value is, but knowing it, he is in a position to make news happen. He is a creator of events.”

– Edward L. Bernays, 1961.

“Public relations specialists make flower arrangements of the facts, placing them so that the wilted and less attractive petals are hidden by sturdy blooms”

– AlanHarrington, “Life in the Crystal Palace,” 1959.

“[A press agent is] a man of a few thousand well-chosen words.”

– Veteran sports press agent Irving Rudd in The Sporting Life, 1990.

“There is no such thing as bad publicity except your own publicity.”

– Brendan Behan

“A man must get himself talked about.”

– Sigmund Freud

(ed. note: Freud was Edward L. Bernays’ uncle).

“Bad publicity tends to arouse my sympathy for its object.”

– General Alexander Haig.

“Publicity is like power, Major Butler – it’s a rare man who isn’t corrupted by it.”

– Anthony Price in Colonial Butler’s Wolf. 1972.

“This is the only country in the world where failing to promote yourself is widely regarded as being ignorant.”

– Gary Trudeau, 1948.

“Publicity is like eating peanuts. Once you start, you can’t stop.”

– Andy Warhol, 1979

Compiled by Wes Pedersen

Copyright Public Relations Quarterly 2006

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