Public Relations – Where did it come from and where is it headed?

Public Relations quote

Public Relations, one could argue has been around since the dawn of time. Ever since humans have been able to talk they’ve been able to persuade. But, when did we begin to make a business out of it?

So, what is Public Relations?

First things first, what is PR? Defined by the ever trusted CIPR, Public Relations is about reputation – the result of what you do, what you say and what others say about you.

To us here at Tecmark, Public Relations is just one of the things we live and breathe in our agency, we believe PR is the secret key to a ever-successful business and without Public Relations, to put it frankly, your business is in troubled waters. We are all too aware that everything comes down to reputation and that is why we work hard to ensure that we build up the best reputations for our clients, we’re allllllllll about good PR.

Public Relations is also about knowing your audience, knowing who is likely to pick up on your PR content and who it is you want to persuade to get involved with it too. That way, you can produce bespoke PR content that is tailored to your specific publics, this is something we know and practise here at Tecmark which is why we have such good relationships with our clients and journalists alike.

You can read more about our digital PR services that boast real results here.

Where did PR begin?

Communications has been around since the dawn of the ages, literally. Cave drawings are the earliest forms of communication known to man, could one argue that they evidence the very first form of Public Relations? Perhaps. Though nobody knows for certain what cave drawings translate to, and what they were used for; one thing is for certain – they are a method of communication. The backbone of Public Relations is of course communication, so perhaps our prehistoric peoples really did found what we know in the modern day as PR? What do you think?  

History of PR - Cave Painting

Source: Pixabay

Since man was intelligent enough to speak, draw and write, he has been communicating and if you define Public Relations (rightly) as the ability to communicate then yes, PR has been around for thousands of years and still continues to strive. Pretty cool, right?

However, whilst it’s all well and good appreciating the communication strategies of the early ages, let’s talk real PR. The nitty gritty of communicating messages in particular to the press and through events. The kind of PR me and you would recognise in the modern day and the kind of PR that you can make a business from.

History of PR - the origins

Source: Pixabay

The PR boffins amongst us will know all too well the Ivy Lee and Edward Bernays debate, both are universally recognised as the founders of PR as we know it, but who actually introduced it? In short, it doesn’t matter, what does matter is that these two individuals revolutionised the act of Public Relations and helped shape it to how we know it today.

Ivy Lee is best known for introducing the term “public relations” and for pioneering the modern press release though he didn’t tend to use it for communication as such (hence where the debate comes in) more so a one-way communication tool. Edward Bernays refined Lee’s proposed press release as a PR tool and also contributed a lot to the development of the theory of PR. He has also written  a lot of books on PR and its mechanics which is why some would argue him as the effective father of PR. Ivy Lee’s main movements came in the late 1800s to the early, Bernay just little later which shows to us that PR actually surfaced well over 100 years ago.

How did PR adjust with the digital age?

We are all living and breathing the digital age and have experienced the epitome of digital development. If you’re reading this now, you’ll be using some form of technology that wasn’t around when PR first truly came about. With the world ever changing, it was important for PR to embody that shift too – and shift it has. PR is well and truly riding the digital wave and is flourishing in this new industry, arguably now more than ever before.

History of PR - where is it headed

Source: Pixabay

Social media and the web has given us PRs a whole new world to tackle, and tackle we have. Public Relations is ever imminent online and platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram have only helped aid promotion and the art of persuasion even more so.

Where is PR headed?

Now that is the question. In an industry that is ever changing, the future is never set in stone, but hey – doesn’t that make it all the more exciting? Here at Tecmark we welcome the future with open arms and always ensure our organisation is fully flexible enough to cope with any shifts in regime – in fact, we look forward to it.

 

Source: Pixabay

In an industry that never sleeps, PR is undoubtedly going to see some changes over the next decade. For one, as print becomes a dying trade the shift over to digital is predicted to be huge. Luckily, being a digital PR agency – we are more than well prepared. Do we think robots will be doing our work for us in the next few years? No. But we certainly are expecting to see some pretty big changes in PR sooner rather than later, here’s our predictions.

The digital PR industry is about to see a boom

As mentioned above, print has been written off as a somewhat dying trade, though we don’t expect to see its collapse any time soon, we are certainly aware that more and more people are shifting online for all of their communication needs day by day.

It’s safe to say we are eagerly anticipating this shift, we love a challenge and can’t wait to tackle a growing digital industry. Whilst digital is already huge in itself, we can only predict it to grow and flourish in the coming years.

Social media is about to get all the more important

We’re already fully aware of the power of social media, but we also predict that it is about to get even bigger. The power social influencers have is huge. I mean, did you hear about the $1.3 billion loss that Snapchat faced as a result of Kylie Jenner’s tweet? Pretty big, right?

PRs are becoming more and more savvy on social media by the day and here at Tecmark we know exactly how to ace socials for our clients and have mastered the art of social persuasion. It doesn’t look like any of the big social media platforms are about to see a user decline any time soon, in fact we predict that their popularity is only going to grow over the next decade or so.

Multi-media PR is going to become much more of a thing

Multimedia PR is basically traditional PR, with a bit of added oomph.

It’s common knowledge that web users are big on media, videos in particular so with Public Relations being ever-savvy with ongoing trends, we can only predict that PR is about to see an up in its media strategies too. We’re already experts in content, and are well ahead of the game in putting out the most creative and modernised strategies. Don’t believe us? Take a look at some of our work which speaks for itself.

Multi media press releases are already a thing, but we predict that press releases are almost going to be outcasts if they don’t harness media within the next few years. We also reckon’ that online PR features are set to become much more interactive too – what do you think?

Here at Tecmark, PR is in our blood and we love to talk about it. We’re always happy to talk about what we do so why not get in touch with us today for a chat?

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Tecmark Author Jessica Pardoe

About the Author

Jessica Pardoe:

Jessica is Tecmark's very own Digital PR intern who joins us from the LJMU Business and Public Relations course. She is currently in her final year of study and enjoys all things to do with Public Relations but has a keen interest in digital in particular. Jessica has an avid passion for writing and enjoys creating blogs and content with Tecmark that allow her to write to her heart's content.

Visit Jessica's Page
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