Inez Kaiser - Founder of the First African American Female-Owned PR Firm

In 1957, Inez Kaiser, founded the first African American female-owned public relations agency in the United States. Kaiser, 94, grew up in Kansas, in a time — the 1930s — when African Americans living in the South were not allowed the opportunity of a higher education. But, determined to go to college, Kaiser applied to Pittsburgh State University in 1941, and was admitted. Kaiser began her career as a teacher in Missouri, where she spent a lot of her free time writing. Her column, “Fashion-Wise and Otherwise,” was published in African American-owned newspapers across the country. One day an editor suggested that she go into public relations, a field Kaiser had never known of before, but was hooked once she learned about it. In 1957, she opened Inez Kaiser & Associates, the first public relations firm headed by an African American woman in the U.S. It was also the first African American owned business to open in Kansas City, Missouri. In a recent telephone interview conducted by the Museum, Inez gave this advice to PR practitioners: "Always be thorough and honest with your clients, and try your best to develop personal relationships with them.” Listen to this one-of-a-kind interview, conducted February, 2015.