Public Relations Founding Fathers

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Carl R. Byoir



Carl R. Byoir started his career at the age of 17 as the city editor of the Waterloo Times in Iowa. He then became a circulation manager for all of the Hearst Magazine's publications in 1914. By 1917, Byoir was asked and agreed to be apart of the U.S. Committee on Public Information, a year before Bernays entered the CPI.

Here he learned many strategies and techniques to influence public opinion. He used these skills to create a campaign that targeted draft-eligible non-English speaking Americans. With this campaign he was able to add an additional 75,000 personel to the U.S. war effort.

The Lithuanian National Council in the U.S. hired Byoir to collect support so that the U.S. Senate would recognize Lithuania as a free and independent nation. Byoir used his techniques from CPI such as print media, prominent local speakers, editorials and telegrams aimed at influential parties to create an awareness about the issue. This campaign succeeded in securing Lithuania's future as an ally with the U.S..

In 1921 Byoir tried his hand at sales. Nuxated Iron hired Byoir without pay to design advertisements to sell the products quicker. When he increased sales within a couple of weeks he was hired as vice president and general manager of the company.

Next Byoir leased two small newspapers in Cuba:the Havana Post and the Havana Telegram. Instead of trying to increase sales through marketing he bargained with the Cuban President Gerardo Machado. The agreement was to increase American tourism in exchange that President Machado would sign a five-year contract to hire Carl Byoir and Associates as the public relations office for the Cuban government. It was a $300,000 agreement that many U.S. citizens frowned on, thinking that Byoir was a slave to a dictator.

Other projects included working with President Hoover and Roosevelt, the Freeport Sulfur Company and Eastern Railroads. Through out his various ventures, controversy stirred about Nazi collusion for representing the German Tourist Information Office in the 1930's, which he was exhonerated from, and violating antitrust laws with the Great Atalntic and Pacific Tea Company, which he was convicted of. Either way Byoir lived a full life.

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