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In 1952, Daniel J. Edelman decided to open a small public relations agency in Chicago for one simple reason: he thought he could do better than the competition.
At the time, public relations was a rudimentary practice, dominated by a handful of firms employed primarily as “press agents” and publicists. Dan, a former journalist and World War II public information officer, had a greater vision. He dreamed of offering clients a range of superior P.R. services never before seen. And for the next 60 years, Dan and his firm would do just that – transforming the field of P.R., first in the United States, and then in the rest of the world.
Edelman and the Rise of Public Relations follows the fascinating tale of Dan Edelman and his unprecedented impact on 21st-century public relations, from his creation of the media tour and marketing public relations to his celebrated creative campaigns featuring such legendary figures as Colonel Sanders and Morris the Cat; from his pioneering efforts in environmental and litigation P.R. to his quest to spread modern public relations around the world.
Edelman and the Rise of Public Relations is the story of modern P.R. and a firm that reshaped the practice. It’s a compelling tale of high-profile successes and perilous setbacks, of perseverance and family support, high-stakes risks, and a willingness to constantly challenge the status quo.
The saga continues with son Richard Edelman, who assumed the reins of Edelman Public Relations from his father and continued the mission in uncharted territory, staking the firm’s future on large investments in digital P.R., global reach, corporate responsibility, intellectual property, and a game-changing approach to communications he called “public engagement.”
Iconic. Improbable. Captivating. Edelman and the Rise of Public Relations is a candid, behind-the-scenes look at the firm – and the family – that has become synonymous with the practice of modern public relations as we know it.