What was the origin of public relations? Mention the factor that gave rise to PR.

Origin of Public Relations.

Man has a long history and a concept like Public Relations must have been there in the past that is not known. But the modern Public Relation is of recent origin, not only in India, but also in the Western countries. In the United States, Public Relations (PR) developed from the growing industrialization and modernization process noticeable in their large business corporations.

With the system of free and private enterprise, American business had a greater responsibility to carry out its affairs in the “public interest” and to win “public understanding and support”. They did it with effectively, forthrightly and skillfully and it helped them avert the tide of “socialism” sweeping the world in the 1950s. America rose to the occasion with the use of PR. Public Relations (PR) became the philosophy of American firms and helped them survive.

Factors that gave Rise to Public Relations.

Public relations emerged when public opinion became a powerful force in society. The public opinion could only become such a force in society when certain democratic institutions had developed. The free press, adult franchise, organs of elected representatives of the people, such as the parliament, the legislatures and elected local government institutions made it possible for the common man to make his voice heard. The public opinion emerged as a force to be reckoned with and it became necessary for organizations to win the support and goodwill of the public.

In the past, winning public support and goodwill was not considered important by the captains of business and industry. They began to look around for ways to woo the public only when it became impossible to ignore or disregard public opinion. It happened only in the twentieth century, when the democratic institutions and the media of mass communications developed and, began to make people more aware of what was happening around them.

Another important contributory factor in the rise of Pubic Relations was the development in levels of literacy and education, which made people conscious of their rights.

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