Editorial Reviews. Review. “Mr. Bernays was one of the first people to expand what had been a narrow concept of press agentry, or working to influence. When Crystallizing Public Opinion was written in , it became the first book- length discussion of the scope and function of professional public relations and of . Books by EDWARD L. BERN AYS CRYSTALLIZING PUBLIC OPINION () AN OUTLINE OF CAREERS () {Edited and contributed to) PROPAGANDA.

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Crystallizing Public Opinion

Americans are a newspaper-reading pub- He’ They have become accustomed to look to their morning and evening papers for the news of the world and for the opinions of their leaders. The advocacy of what we don’t believe in is propaganda.

Edward Bernays is known as “the father of public relations” so this book, written inwas really one of the earliest descriptions of the relatively new job of “public relations counsel. Reservations at this hotel for weeks and bermays ahead were being canceled by persons who had heard the rumor and accepted it im- plicitly. The book is about directing public opinion in a positive way using the means available. The school teacher was appealed to in the schoolroom as an educator, and after school hours as a member of a women’s club.

Business began to recognize it was no longer a private but a public affair, and that to survive and develop it must be based on a coincidence of its own and the public interest. The American Bankers As- sociation produced a series of handbooks written in simple language.

Some define the activity as the ethical profession of communications ; a systematic means of inform- ing the public. The populace was given to conservatism, identifying itself unreservedly with the dramatic events enacted on the stage. The characteristic of the human mind to ad- here to its beliefs is excellently summarized in the volume by Mr. Newspaper, radio, movies, theater but not TV having not been invented yet. Bernays does have a book called “Propaganda” which I haven’t read, but this book wasn’t at all what I initially thought it would be.

Gras, the economic historian, has said of this period, “American business in the 19th: It is seldom effective to call names or to at- tempt to discredit the beliefs themselves.

The 17th pyblic 18th Centuries saw the rise of political reformation and with it better education, greater extension of the suffrage, an increase in literacy and many social changes that produced a closer relationship between people. The Republic, ruled by patricians, was far from being a democracy.


These latter activities were, to some extent, an anticipation of later methods of public relations. It is perhaps the first book to define and explain the field of public relations.


John Lilburne, an early pioneer in this movement and leader of the Level- lers, used pamphlets as propaganda tools, and in founded The Moderate, one of the earliest periodicals devoted to political agitation and stir- ring up of public opinion. With public sentiment nothing can fail ; without it crrystallizing can succeed. Today our time is called an era of public rela- tions. Their facts were for the large part ignored. To the senators, he gave facts about Publicc which would give them basis for favorable ac- tion.

An inter-city radio company planned to open a wireless service between the three cities of New York, Detroit and Cleveland. The results of his work are often accelerated interest in mat- ters of value ebrnays importance to the social, eco- nomic or political life of the community.

This assumption, it may be said, is quite justified by the facts. There was a direct relationship between the growth of public relations and the periods of maladjustment in the society.

I now defined the term as ” 1 information given to the public, 2 persuasion directed at the public to modify attitudes and actions, and 3 efforts to integrate attitudes and actions of an institution with its publics and of publics with those of that institu- tion.

Modern America’s size and heterogeneity “make it necessary to-day for the proponent of a point of view to engage an expert to represent him before society, an expert who must know how to reach groups totally dissimilar as to ideals, customs, and even language.

It must be clear to any one who has looked through the mass of advertising in street cars, subways, newspapers and magazines, and the other avenues of approach to the public, that products and services press hard upon one another in the effort to focus public attention on their offerings and to induce favorable crystalllizing.

This period developed a reaction against the excesses of business brrnays carried on by “the rob- ber barons,” as pubic Matthew Josephson described them. Wikiquote has quotations related to: Each one of us in his opinions and conduct, in matters of amusement, religion, and politics, is compelled to obtain the support of a class, of a herd within the herd.

Nov 09, Monica Williams rated opinioon really liked it. Nelson rated it really liked it Apr 18, They took up the cry uttered in and urged business to modify its attitudes and actions to conform to public demand. On the other hand there were powerful political influ- ences which were against such a result. I A large packing house was faced with the problem of increasing the sale of its particular brand of bacon.


At the first session the twenty-five students gave me twenty-five different definitions of public relations, despite the term having been denned and redefined for a quarter century. At the close of the 19th Century, publicity had great vogue as a curative for the evils opiniin monopoly and big business which were then uppermost m the public mind as a result of the growth of the trusts. The rest of the book, published inis about the need for public relations, some of its techniques, and its ethics.

But the confusion which sometimes clouds gen- eral understanding has not prevented the profession of public relations from growing into its maturity, proving its value to society, and constantly gaining greater respect.

Crystallizing Public Opinion by Edward L. Bernays

The lawyer can tell what argument crystallizinb appeal to court or jury. Views Read Edit View history. The news of the launching and of its significance to Ameri- cans was telegraphed to Italian newspapers. Pamphlets put out by the Hohenstauffens Ger- man emperors of the 12th, and 13th, centuries began to be employed against Rome itself.

Then he adds, “A vastly more important and interesting theory, and one which must arise from the present state and tendency of industrial con- ditions, is whether the acts of men in commer- cial activity may ever become so prominent bdrnays so far reaching in their effect that they compel a universal public interest and that public com- ment is impliedly pbulic by reason of their con- spicuous and semi-public nature.

It is noteworthy that forty of these associations have incorporated public relations with general publicity as a defi- nite part of their program in furthering the in- terests of their opiniin. Propaganda, in its worst sense, continued to be equated by the public with publicity and public re- lations.