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A Brief History of PR in Brazil
Public Relations got its formal start early in the 20th century in Brazil, at the same time that much of the world was beginnig to embrace the profession.

"The establishment of a Public Relations Department at the public power concessionary, the Sao Paulo Tramway Light and Power Company Limited in 1914 is considered the starting point for public relations in Brazil" (Ferrari).

However, PR as a profession, went through a stagnant period, a very stagnant period. Thanks to dictatorships and military rule, the profession was reduced to a mere voice for the ruling power.

"During part of the 20th century, in a large part of the Latin-American countries, public relations was subject to periods of frailty associated with the military dictatorships. Such regimes shook the very foundations of the public relations practices, rendering them partial and peripheric. During such periods, public relations practices were reduced to press and government relations, as if that sufficed" (Kunsch).

As a result of repressive government tactics, Brazil now has laws set up to regulate the PR profession that were established in 1967 during military dictatorship. Brazil is the only nation in the world that has such formal laws set up by the government in an attempt to control the field of public relations (Ferrari).

PR Emerges From the Shadows
Since 1984, however, with the first democratically elected president taking office since the dictatorships that endured some 28 years, the profession has taken off again in the right direction. Today's PR practitioners in Brazil shun the old ways of practice and now there is even a national public relations organization in Brazil, similar to the PRSA in America, that works to strengthen the profession. Unfortunately, the site is only in Portuguese. If you like, you can check it out at: Conselho Regional de Relacoes Publicas

"The emergence of national and Latin-American public relations associations in the Latin-American countries has played an important role in the defense and support of the practice of public relations" (Ferrari).

The Big Cities for Business
Sao Paulo The economic center of Brazil is the city of Sao Paulo. It is like New York City in its overcrowding, pollution, and big business atmosphere. The majority of industry and business transactions occur in the heart of the city. Sao Paulo is even the home to the Brazilian Stock Exchange, or Bolsa de Valores in Portuguese. Photograph courtesy of Encarta.msn

Sao Paulo is the largest city in South America and the third largest in the world in terms of population. The Business center, known as Triangulo, is the home of the Bolsa de Valores and a great number of skyscrapers (Sao Paulo).

Rio de Janeiro is also a very large economic base for Brazil. PetroBras, a petroleum company and the largest corporation in Brazil has its home in Rio de Janeiro. Check out the Companies and Products page to find out more about PetroBras.

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