How Their Old School Style Should Make its Way into Your Next Campaign


With new digital components entering the industry every year, it seems easy to get lost in the noise of new innovations and techniques for enhancing your PR  strategy. While it is imperative to stay abreast of these emerging trends, it is also helpful to take a look at the PR rock stars who have shaped the industry and made historic breakthroughs with their successful careers.

Samuel Adams

Samuel Adams was the mastermind communications expert for the American Revolution hundreds of years before the term “public relations” was coined. (I promise this isn’t merely a nationalistic plug for the Founding Fathers.) Adams knew what he was doing and he was expert at grassroots PR.

Adams was an excellent writer and knew the value of using all media available to him. He used at least 25 pseudonyms and was published widely. Adams also wrote pamphlets, plays, poems, music, and slogans to persuade the colonists to overthrow British rule. Lastly, Adams knew the importance of sustained campaigns. After all, he did dedicate around 20 years of work to see his campaign successfully completed.

Takeaway: Limiting yourself when reaching out to media can hurt your campaign, don’t always expect immediate results—a successful campaign takes time and dedication.

Doris Fleischman

While Edward Bernays is considered the “father of PR,” his wife, Doris Fleischman, doesn’t often get the same recognition. She is remembered for being an exceptional writer and strategist.

Fleischman was quite a badass in her day as a women’s’ rights activist in the early 1900’s and as a PR pro who secured media coverage for an NAACP convention. She was also an editor for the New York Tribune and the first woman to report on a boxing match. Needless to say, her resume is impressive, even more so for the time period she was working in.

Takeaway: Writing is still one of the most important skills to bring to your campaign; you shouldn’t have to sacrifice your personal ethics for your campaign— embrace them.

Inez Kaiser

 Similar to Fleischman, Inez Kaiser faced her fair share of hurdles in the early to mid 1900’s, not only as a woman, but also as an African American aspiring to receive higher education. With determination and commitment, Kaiser founded the first African American female-owned PR firm. She was also the first woman to lead an agency with national clients. Suffice it to say, Inez is a boss.

In an interview last year, Inez had this advice to give to PR practitioners: “Always be thorough and honest with your clients, and try your best to develop personal relationships with them.” 

Takeaway: Don’t be afraid to break through traditional boundaries, commit yourself to developing a strong relationship with your client throughout your campaign.

By Hannah Vergult, @hannahnorav





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