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November 14, 2013
When PR Got Lost Among the 'Channels'
 
Time out for a lesson in PR history. Not of Edward Bernays and his colleagues during the 1920s and '30s, but from Harry A. Bullis, who was chairman of General Mills in 1948. That's when, Heather Yaxley notes in a PRConversations post, Bullis contributed a chapter to a book entitled Your Public Relations, edited by Glenn and Denny Griswold, in which he argued that "the second half of our century will be marked by inspiring progress in the field of human relations."

Maybe so, but the progress didn't come from PR so much as demonstrations and political action. Corporate types weren't attentive enough to Bullis' message to take PR seriously enough. "...Analyze how you stand currently with your various 'publics,' Bullis wrote, "and set about formulating a program for improvement...Building such productive relationships involves telling your company's story, simply and truthfully, through all available channels."

Well, Yaxley thinks PR people, along with the rest of the public, probably got diverted by some of those very "channels," as they were introduced to them in the newly emerging medium of television and TV advertising. In any event, the challenge today is to apply Bullis' well-founded urgings in increasingly digital settings. Check out the excerpts from his chapter in Your Public Relations as Heather Yaxley provides them.   

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Doug Bedell has a background in journalism and PR and is the owner of Resource Relations LLC in Central PA, focusing on organizational and crisis communication. He’s the community manager of SimplyFair.net, a social network on fairness. On the Web, Doug’s at www.ResourceRelations.com. On Twitter, he’s @DougBeetle.
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