The general public has always been open about its differing opinions, positive or negative, about public relations. From spin doctors to liars, the world of public relations has endured it all.
Now, though, the world of PR is being studied as a history subject. Who would have ever thought we would become an actual subject being taught to students? In a recent BBC News article, Sean Coughlan, BBC news education correspondent, talks about Bournemouth University’s (considered the #1 UK university) upcoming international conference dedicated to the discussion of the history of public relations.
The conference will take place over the course of two days this coming July 2010 and will discuss such topics as: “Public Relations in Communist Hungary” and “Embracing the Embarrassing.”
Conference organizer, Tom Watson, notes that attending the conference is an opportunity for people to learn about the history of PR before the invention of press releases and media campaigns. Attendees will be taught about the relationship between propoganda and public relations as well as the history of public relations in various countries.
Watson points out that public relations has now become its own major industry, which is why this conference is being held. At Bournemouth University alone, there are 262 public relations courses being offered.
Key speakers at the conference will be Dr Karen Miller Russell and Dr Jacquie L’Etang, two leading historians of public relations.
Dr. Russel will focus on “Embracing the Embarrassing” which talks about the unethical and “embarrassing” aspects of public relations.
With all the negative media attention public relations has withstood, do you believe this conference is a positive turnaround? Is this a step in the right direction to spread awareness of public relations and its intentions?
Or, do you believe this can potentially hurt the world of public relations even more by talking in-depth about the history of it and having people with varying opinions speak about the subject?
Is this bad publicity or good publicity?