Then and now: Lessons from PR’s past

Edward Bernays, widely regarded as the father of PR, still has a lot to teach about the field.

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“Innovators and innovations cannot create their own channels of communication,” wrote Edward Bernays, widely regarded as the founding father of public relations. Hedid not meet Mark Zuckerberg, nor coud he at the time of writing his seminal 1922 book, “Crystallizing Public Opinion,” have conceived of there one day being a little something called the Internet that would facilitate global communication with a keystroke.

In many ways, “Crystallizing Public Opinion” is almost comically outdated: It was written during the time of prohibition, when radio was considered cutting-edge technology and the possibilities of air travel were still being guessed at. However in other, more subtle ways, Bernays’ first book is enduringly relevant.

Writing at Business Insider, Ronn Torossian, president and CEO of 5W Public Relations, lists “Crystalizing Public Opinion” among his 10 must-read PR books:

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