- Edward L. Bernays (November 22, 1891 - March 9, 1995) - Seen as one of the founders of modern Public Relations he began his career as a press agent working with the theater. He worked with The American Tobacco company, Aluminum Company of America, The American Dental Association and executed what has been referred to as one of the first overt media acts for a president when working with Calvin Coolidge. He made note of things which are now practically PR laws, "The three main elements of public relations are practically as old as society : informing people, persuading people or integrating people with people. Of course, this means methods of accomplishing these ends have changed as society has changed" - Crystalizing Public Opinion (1961). Influenced by his uncle Sigmund Freud's work into the unconscious he attempted to work it into his job in PR. He often used the method of indirectly using "third party authorities" to get his clients cause across. He used this method because, "If you can influence the leaders, either with or without their conscious cooperation, you automatically influence the group they sway."
- Ivy L. Lee (July 16, 1877 - November 9, 1934) - Thought of as the founding father of modern public relations he changed the way public relations dealt with crisis situations. He is credited with on of the first uses of a press release whilst working with the Pennsylvania Railroad. After an accident on one of their railways Lee suggested that they put out the story straight away before other versions of the story could make it to the public. He also organized transport for the reporters to the accident site in order to "control" them. Lee also changed the face of public relations with his Declaration of Principals. They referred to the public obligation PR practitioners have that stretch beyond the client.
I am currently looking into press releases, their construction and their place in society.