According to our text, "Public Relations: The Profession and the Practice"(1997) , Public Relations is defined as "the leadership and management functions that help achieve organizational objectives, define philosophy, and facilitate organizational change Public relations practitioners develop, execute, and evaluate organizational programs that promote the exchange of influence and understanding among the organization's constituent parts and publics." (p.5). Even though this is a current definition of the Profession, there have been many individuals that have practiced this profession since the early 1900's. .
Edward L. Bernays is considered by many to be the "father of public relations". The nephew of Sigmund Freud, Bernays began his career in public relations in 1915; he was assigned the task of promoting the Ballet Russes American tour. Even though he was not interested in the project, Bernays used his insight and skills to promote the "Ballet Russes" to the American public. He succeeded in changing the impression that the public had of this art form by explaining the concept and making it easier for audiences to understand and enjoy the ballet. He used local and international magazines and newspapers to promote the ballet and then used commercial retailers to create products that consumers would relate to the events. He succeeded in making the ballet one of the most sought after events of that time period. (http://www.prmuseum.com/bernays/bernays_1915.html).
In addition to this project, Bernays was also credited with molding the images of many different individuals, businesses and government programs. During his long career, Bernays was involved in several different projects including the NAACP Conference in Atlanta in 1920 to promote civil rights for the African-American population, the Torches of Freedom Campaign in 1929 to promote the right of women to smoke in public (http://www.