Public Relations Founding Fathers

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Arthur W. Page

Following in the foot steps of his father as a journalist, Arthur W. Page would pave the way for the field of public relations. Walter Hines Page, Arthur's father, was an excellent journalist, editor and business man. He was a founder of Doubleday Page publishing company, advisor to Woodrow Wilson and the U.S. Ambassador to Great Britain during WWI.

In 1905, at the age of 22, Arthur Page started to work at Doubleday Page and would end up working for the company for 22 years. He was promoted to vice president of the company's magazine department, where he found a special interest for a magazine called The World's Work. He wrote strong editorial articles about the responsibilities and duties of U.S. corporations to its consumers.

In 1927 Walter Gifford, CEO of the AT&T company, inquired whether Page would like to put his ideas into practice for AT&T and he accepted. This would lead to be corporate America's first public relations position and create a framwork for the field, still being used today. He spent 19 years as a vice-president for AT&T and unknowingly established a public relations protocol.

Through his speeches, presentations, letters and advice Page formed the model of the public relations specialist. He stressed, to his public relations staff, that survey research must be an integral part of their profession. He also emphasized that anticipating problems that their clients might face is critical.

His accomplishments include writing President Trumans announcement of the use of the atom bomb at Hiroshima, was a consultant to U.S. Presidents from Theodore Roosevelt to Dwight Eisenhower and served as a member of the boards of directors of the Chase Bank, Westinghouse, Kennecott Copper and Continential Oil.

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