1st Edition

Public Relations History
Theory, Practice, and Profession

ISBN 9781138491410
Published July 30, 2020 by Routledge
184 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations

USD $44.95

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Book Description

This book presents a unique overview of public relations history, tracing the development of the profession and its practices in a variety of sectors, ranging from politics, education, social movements, and corporate communication to entertainment.

Author Cayce Myers examines the institutional pressures, including financial, legal, and ethical considerations, that have shaped public relations and have led to the parameters in which the practice is executed today, exploring the role that underrepresented groups and sectors (both in the U.S. and internationally) played in its formation. The book presents the diversity and nuance of public relations practice while also providing a cohesive narrative that engages readers in the complex development of this influential profession.

Public Relations History is an excellent resource for upper-level undergraduate and graduate courses covering public relations theory, management, and administration; mass communication history; and media history.

Table of Contents

1. Definitions of Public Relations 

2. Theories of Public Relations Development 

3. Political Public Relations 

4. Propaganda, Public Relations, and Public Opinion 

5. Public Relations, Propaganda, and Conflict 

6. Public Relations in Non-Profits, Education, and Religion 

7. Corporate Public Relations 

8. Entertainment and the Creation of the PR Professional 

9. Public Relations Ethics, Organizations, and Credentialing 

10. The Future of the History of Public Relations

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Cayce Myers is an Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Communication, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA, USA, where he teaches public relations and communication law. He holds a PhD in mass communication from the Henry W. Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia, an LLM focusing on media law from the University of Georgia School of Law, and a JD from Mercer University School of Law. A member of the Public Relations Society of America, Dr. Myers earned his Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) and has served on PRSA’s Board of Ethics and Professional Standards (BEPS). He is also a member of the Arthur W. Page Society, and is the Legal Research Editor for the Institute for Public Relations. His research focuses on public relations history and laws that influence public relations practice.


"Myers provides a fascinating look at history's milestone events through the lens of public relations—from the missionary work of the Vatican in 1622, the American Revolution in 1776, up through the formation of the State of Israel in 1947. Indeed, the strategies of PR have been more influential in shaping history than previously presented. Myers also offers what may be an industry first: a historiography of the field that (finally) recognizes the contributions of women, African Americans and other minorities.... Of all the histories written about the PR profession, Myers's book is certainly the most readable and relevant."Shelley Spector, Founder and Director of the Museum of Public Relations, New York

"Finally, a book that explains the history of public relations not as an evolution or as primarily the work of a handful of individuals, but as an action and a practice that emerged organically and continues to adapt in response to changes in society—politically, economically, socially, and technologically. Myers’s work is an excellent read for professionals and students alike." — Lisa Parcell, Associate Professor, Elliott School of Communication, Wichita State University

"Writing the history of public relations is like nailing jelly to the wall. Foundational questions such as ‘what is public relations‘ and ‘when did it start‘ have no concrete answers to even allow the process to begin. Yet Dr. Cayce Myers has managed to organize what we do know about the history of public relations to date into a highly readable book [...] a must read for scholars and students of public relations history alike to understand where we are today in terms of historical knowledge and where the gaps in that history remain." — Karla Gower, Professor and Director of the Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations, University of Alabama