Although it is unclear whether Ivy Lee, best known for his work with the Rockefeller family, or Edward Bernays, often called the “Father of Public Relations,” was the founder of modern PR, their influence remains palpable today.
Since its beginning, modern public relations has created a movement toward excellence in public communication, crisis management, lobbying, event marketing, and media relations. According to James E. Grunig’s Excellence in Public Relations and Communication Management, public relations is an integral aspect of modern society. In addition to helping clients reach their communication and marketing goals, PR is also responsible for triggering change, managing conflict, and defending client interests.
While times have greatly changed since Lee and Bernays worked in the 19th and 20th centuries, respectfully, the fundamental purpose of PR to influence the masses and act as the liaison between clients and their audience has remained steadfast throughout history. Today, public relations is an essential tool for brands and individuals to use in order to gain wide-spread recognition and solve any problems that occur throughout their business lifespan.