By the dawn of the 1970’s, television changed the way in which publicists in the U.S. used their craft. Budgets could be plundered if a course could be chartered between ‘turn’ and product. It was Henry Rogers of Rogers and Cowan who pioneered the way. He fully understood the value of entertainment collateral when dealing with promoting product. What was important was balance; and any true PR empire knows this for ultimate effect and unfettered development.
As companies desired enlargement and expansion, the status quo began to change. The “boutique” or speciality agency that had become so prominent in the 1990’s, but slowly became swallowed by the huge corporations, no longer required the purity of a craft; they needed a simplicity for brand guardians. The complexity of the art of publicity was engulfed by the age of “process”. The greedy hemisphere became muddied by everyone practising every area of PR, but not doing any particularly well.
It was perhaps the great Edward Bernays who seeded this aim by creating the original process christened engineering opinion. His idea was to condition will, and this was sold as “engineering consent”; the notion of conditioning the herd-like masses what to believe in, what to like, and even how to be.
We should look back at those original boutique agencies and reference their growth and purity of delivery there success was down to cunning but tempered with business balance.
Many modern business operators boast the practice but fall short on final delivery. This in turn pollutes the understanding of the art of publicity. A shame so many clients have been fleeced.