I have had a bag full of emails from publicists all over the place with their views on the history of PR.
Reflecting a piece in today’s Express on “friendly bacteria” I was interested to find a stunt by a German publicist named Wolfgang Zeilman. Zeilman was responsible for hyping the talents of a German gynaecologist called Zikel, by creating a moniker “the Zikel System”. In the 1920’s this referred to a system that allegedly represented an epoch making innovation in the area of rejuvenation therapy. Alongside the direct injecting of patients with the glandular secretions of living animals, Dr Zikel recommended the regular eating of yoghurt.
My research continually throws up innovative thinking which is still current today. Zeilman publicised Dr Zikels’ findings on the use of yoghurt in rejuvenation treatment (and his treatments led him eventually to Hollywood) and still today, we are told that a dose of probiotic can boost the health of millions. I think it is very difficult to come up with a totally new and original idea to promote clients and that in fact there is a continual repetition of ideas. Many of those original ideas remain constant in PR, they are just reconditioned and refurbished for the present day markets