Valuable New Year's Resolution by Denny Griswold


1958-- Denny Griswold, editor and publisher of the first-ever PR newsletter (started 1944 and continues to this day) provides readers ten New Year's resolutions for 1959. The most memorable on the list from Griswold, known lovingly in the field as the "Grande Dame of PR," is this: "Remember that your most important task and rewarding challenge is to use your PR knowledge and experience to help achieve world peace."

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How Public Relations was celebrated in 1920s through written resources

1924--"It is a dangerous occupation--that of public relations counsel or press agent or publicity representative--to leave unnoticed. From the evidence of his book alone, with its representation of the direction of his interests and of the nature of assignments he lays out for himself. It is clear that Mr. Bernays realizes that the edge of the sword is dangerously thin, and his is scrupulous both as to his means and his ends..." -- NYT Book review of "Crystallizing Public Opinion," ..."the first [book] to be devoted exclusively to an occupation which is gradually becoming of overwhelming national importance..."

1920 — In what might well be the first mainstream article about the impact of the new profession of public relations, this opinion writer posits that "...the publicity expert has matured. As matters now stand nearly every large organization has its press agent. The field of activity has, too, enlarged. For when the press agent becomes the 'director of public relations' he assumes new duties. Instead of seeking to get material printed he often exerts himself to keep his clients out of the papers. The best of the type are genuine advisers. They are men of experience. They are called in to estimate the possible effects of certain courses of action. They are supposed to be experts in appraising the temper of masses of men..."

1923--In a report made to the Eastern Presidents' Conference by the Committee on Public Relations, the NYT reported: "Not only have the railroads attempted to appear before the public and explain their position, but the effort has been extended to the practical field by the organization of Regional Advisory Boards, through which shippers and the public may offer suggestions for the conduct of the railroads..." It was pioneer Ivy Lee who introduced the practice of PR to the railroads in 1906, with Pennsylvania Railroad being the first of a half dozen rail clients. When a train derailed near Atlantic City, Lee convinced Penn management to let him release a statement to the press about the accident, containing the facts that Lee did not think the press would otherwise pick up (or worse, write a negative story about rail safety by relying on their own conclusions.) Lee's statement -- the forerunner of today's press release-- appeared verbatim in the Times.

1926-- In this Page One story of the NYT, PR pioneer Ivy Lee-- "the best known and most expensive of publicity agents"-- is reported to have begun a campaign to urge the U.S. to recognize Soviet Russia. "Someday Russia has got to come back into the family of nations and we ought to try to help her to get back rather than to force a great nation like Russia to come on her knees and in sackcloth and ashes." Learn more about Lee's campaign and the impact it may have had on history. Read "Courtier to the Crowd," by Ray Hiebert (1966), recently republished by PR Museum Press here.

1927 — "...Hitherto the company has been conservative in making its affairs public..." But now, according to the New York TImes, "A. T. and T." will have a new department devoted entirely to publicity and public relations, to be headed by Arthur Wilson Page, a former publisher of World's Work and an executive of Doubleday. The new VP "took up his quarters at the A.T. and T. headquarters at 195 Broadway yesterday..."

First on many interviews with Bernays recorded by Barry and Shelley Spector

1923--"Many people believe public relations is press agentry, flackery, publicity. Public relations is not that. It is a two-way street, advising the client on attitudes and actions to win over the public on whom viability of the unit depends, and then educating, informing and persuading the public to accept these social goods, ideas, concepts, or whatever." Edward Bernays, responding to "how do you define public relations?"

Shot in April 1986 in Bernays's home in Cambridge, Mass., this was the first of dozens of interviews Barry and Shelley Spector recorded up until Bernays's death in March 1995. These videos have been available free of charge since the earliest days of the Internet and have been used extensively by the international PR community for 20 years. This particular video has been downloaded more than 45k times.

Watch the video here

Christmas gift for someone special on your list

1957-- "The fun, the fun, the fun is in the giving... And oh, what a lift, if the gift is a '58 Chevy!'

In her '57 Christmas special, celebrity Dinah Shore, spokesperson ("sing-person") for Chevrolet, introduces the '58 line-up of Chevy's-- Impalas, BelAires, Chevy Wagons-- all of which "make great Christmas gifts for every special someone on your list."

View the video here

The Museum wishes you a Merry and Memorable Christmas Day! Enjoy this newsreel of Christmas celebrations, recorded nearly 70 years ago by filmmakers around the world.

How women were portrayed in the media in the 90s

1943-- "We Can Do It !" became the government's rallying cry to entice American women to fill the factory jobs now left vacant by the men off fighting in the Second World War. An iconic painting made of an actual Westinghouse factory worker, Rosie the Riveter symbolized women's new roles as workers in munitions plants, shipyards and airbases throughout the country. Through posters, newsreels, ads, radio and jukebox, the government's "Rosie" campaign successfully got millions of women to enlist in the war effort on the home front and thousands to train for "women's" jobs in special branches of the armed services. Watch the "Rosie the Riveter" song here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AE2z_N1fM5E

1950s-- Rosie the Riveter (the iconic WWII heroine who could build a fuel tank or even commandeer a factory) gave way to housewives so delicate they could barely open a bottle of catsup. The manner in which women were portrayed in the media reflected the nation's need for women of the 40s to man the factories and for women of the 50s to make a nice home for their man.

1955-- "Be happy to see him. Free him with a warm smile and show sincerity in your passion to please him... Prepare yourself. Take 15 minutes to rest so you'll be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your make-up and put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh-looking. He has just been with a lot of work-weary people..." As millions of housewives took such advice as gospel from Good Housekeeping, Redbook and McCall's, a growing number would eventually become frustrated with lives that revolved around happy husbands, gleaming floors, and well-fed children. The commercials of the day showed that women--while vacuuming or waxing the kitchen tiles-- should be doing so with hair "done," a sleek dress, adorned with a clean apron and string of pearls. That way she'd be ready to greet the "head of the household" when he walks through the door, and as this piece describes, be ready to "make him comfortable...to have him lean back in a chair... and offer to take off his shoes."

How a History Museum became a Web Red?

*Web Red direct translation of the Chinese word, 网红, which means cyber celebrities.

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The Forbidden City | The Palace Museum

The Palace Museum is housed in the Forbidden City, which housed the Chinese imperial palace from the Ming Dynasty to the end of the Qing Dynasty. It is located in the middle of Beijing, China. For almost five centuries, it served as the home of the Emperor and his household, and the ceremonial and political center of Chinese government.

Built from 1406 to 1420, the complex consists of 980 surviving buildings with 8,707 bays of rooms and covers more than 7,750,000 square feet. The palace complex exemplifies traditional Chinese palatial architecture, and has influenced cultural and architectural developments in East Asia. The Forbidden City was declared a World Heritage Site in 1987, and is listed by UNESCO as the largest collection of preserved ancient wooden structures in the world.

Today, there are over a million rare and valuable works of art in the permanent collection of the Palace Museum, including paintings, ceramics, seals, steles, sculptures, inscribed wares, bronze wares, enamel objects, etc. 

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But for the past few years, the Forbidden City as a Museum was always in trouble.

Always PACKED

Always PACKED

Not CLEAN

Not CLEAN

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The Chinese Internet users summarized the mistakes the museum has made, including exhibits that got stolen or were damaged by museum staff, typos in public document, and, most surprisingly, when a private club opened somewhere inside the palace museum, museum officials didn't know anything about it, until someone posted it on social media. 

However, everything improved because of this man.

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The new curator of the Palace Museum: Shan Jixiang (单霁翔). He visited all of the more than 9,000  rooms and houses in the Palace Museum, making him the first man  to do so in 600 years. (I know, the Forbidden City is indeed too big!) No one actually knew how many ancient cultural relics were in the museum, he gave the answer: There are 9,371 rooms in the palace and 1,807,558 artifacts.

And to enhance the security system, he customized every camera in the palace to match the architect style of the buildings. No more relics would be stolen under the new security system!

Under his management, now the Palace Museum looks like this:

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Last November, President Xi brought Trump to the Palace Museum.

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How does the Palace Museum became a Web-Red, a cyber celebrity?

Mr. Shan, the new curator, gets all the credit! In the past, visitors needed to wait more than an hour to buy the ticket to enter the palace. Since October 10 last year, all tickets are only available online and every day has visitor limitations to ensure the palace won't be too crowded. 

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Since the tickets are sold online, the Palace Museum opened their online market targeting millennials. The emperors and his concubines are no longer boring images on the history books, the creative team of the Palace Museum brought them to life.

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Also, their online merchandise shop is a big success.

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Small stationary supplies with the palace elements are the most popular ones. People claim they spent way more money on the merchandises than the entrance tickets. Sometimes for the small gifts, they want to visit the Palace Museum in person.

This week, the Palace Museum dropped another “bomb” to millions of cosmetic lovers.

The cosmetic packaging designs are all inspired by the paintings, vases exhibit in the Palace Museum.

Once the cosmetic line was available on Taobao.com, unsurprisingly, the kits sold out only in a very short amount of time. 

As a Chinese, I'm extremely proud of our history. Everything related to the Chinese history always draws my attention. To be honest, I was pretty sad when my parents brought me to Beijing to visit the Palace Museum when I was in elementary school, that trip was not pleasant at all! Everything's old and the place was packed. But to see the Ming/Qing dynasties Palace became such a vibrant place, there's no word can express how excited I am. I'm so thankful to Mr. Shan the new curator, he is obviously not that typical kind of Chinese scholar, who’s unwilling to change. Shan makes the museum interact with younger generations. Due to his passion, the museum is back to life and might become the most amazing museum in the world! 

By Cara Wang

(all photo courtesy to the Palace Museum)

The Origin Of The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree

The Christmas tree showcased at the Rockefeller Center, which was erected last Wednesday in a festive ceremony, symbolizes the holiday season in New York. The origin of this annual tradition, however, began at a not-so-merry time period. In 1931, the Great Depression was taking a toll on the U.S labor force, with unemployment at 15.9% (compared to today's four percent). On Christmas Eve, the construction workers building the Rockefeller Center (completed in 1939) had a cause to celebrate: unlike so many others, -they- were getting paid. To celebrate this occasion, the workers put up a 20-foot tall tree decorated with ornaments, right where they would be getting their paychecks: Rockefeller Center. Two years later, a savvy publicist with Rockefeller Center organized the first official tree lighting ceremony, establishing the now well-known tradition and calling the tree “a holiday beacon for New Yorkers and visitors alike.” Ever since then, people from around the globe gather at Rockefeller Center to see the Christmas tree that brightens up Midtown, Manhattan.

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