In 1914, the first public relations department was established in Brazil at the Canadian São Paulo Tramway Light and Power Co. PR was restricted in the early stages and only a few multinational corporations and governmental bodies were able to practice it. The Brazilian Public Relations Association (ABRP) was established in 1954 with the purpose to promote the practice. Public relations experts like Harwood I. Childs, Eric Carlson and Neville Sheperd came from the United States to teach local professionals.
Despite the ABRP’s help to formalize the profession and promotion of PR research, practitioners still had to work around limitations. Communication systems in Brazil were controlled by the military from the 1960’s to the late 1990’s. Laws that allowed the censorship were reversed in 1998 and public relations was able to build up again. In 1969 the Federal Board of Public Relations Professional was created to supervise the PR practice throughout Brazil.
A Brazilian PR pioneer is Candido Teobaldo. He was the first to graduate from a doctoral program in Brazil. Teobaldo also wrote one of the first PR books in Brazil, "How to Understand Public Relations" which was published in 1962. Other contributors to public relations are Nemercio Nogueira, Margarida Kunsh and Roberto Porto Simoes. Brazil offers 110 university level courses in public relations and has one of the largest collections of PR research papers and publications in Latin America. Brazil also has over 1000 public relations agencies both domestic and transnational.