Public Relations: How Was It Created?

Many people work in public relations, but not all of them know its history. Can you imagine that PR has existed for many centuries? Starting from the times of the ancient Egyptians till the medieval period – men and women had access to channels and devices for exchanging essential information keeping updated on what was happening in their place and around. Such means of communication are the primary forms of modern public relations. Let’s dive into the history of public relations.

The Very Beginnings of Public Relations

In the ancient world, you can find clear examples of how people were using public relations. Many Greek philosophers, such as Socrates, and Aristotle realized the importance of public opinion. They were spreading information and influencing public opinion via direct public speaking.

No one can tell you who is the first creator of public relations. But it was a specific way to influence, manage, and manipulate the opinions of people by means of psychology, philosophy, and sociology. It is important to mention that PR was criticized a lot for being propaganda.

The 18th Century

This century is known as the era of printing. As soon as the press was created, propaganda was quite prevalent. Top figures were using the press to share the needed information with the people and make them act and think in the needed way. Such a powerful tool was used in many democratic countries during the election campaigns.

During the 18th century, PR was used to support many causes. Benjamin Franklin used the power of the press to win his famous campaign against slavery, improve the level of education, and boost national security. PR and politics go hand in hand all the time. 

The 20th Century

It is the era of mass media. Public relations transformed a lot and started serving people as a tool to build relationships and keep a positive reputation. PR grows along with technology. Wide usage of radio and tv helped PR professionals spread important messages worldwide. It is the period when the most powerful PR campaigns have ever been created.

21st Century 

We enter the era of the digital world and the development of social media platforms. At the beginning of the 2000s, PR became a very important sector, especially after the creation of the internet. Such a step was enormous for making a vast amount of information available to the global public.

The media landscape was becoming more and more complex. The only way for public relations to remain relevant was by keeping up with the competition. PR specialists have to master a lot of innovative ways of communication. Starting in 2008, US politicians started using social media platforms to connect and influence their potential voters.

Obama was the first president who started using social media channels to gain the maximum number of followers, attracting a lot of young voters. According to the analysis of exit polls, a new tactic was super successful. The PR strategy of the Obama team demonstrates to us the power of online tools. 


In recent years, social media has taken total control over worldwide communications. We can’t deny the fact that it is an efficient tool, which every PR pro uses to connect with his targeted public. The world of technology continues to grow. Such changes motivate PR specialists to follow up-to-date trends and perform even more efficient results.

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