The portrayal of public relations in the era of Ivy Lee through the lens of the New York Times

Lynn M. Zoch, Dustin W. Supa, Debra R. VanTuyll

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


Public relations has and, it appears, always has had an image problem. From public relations' protohistory, through the rise of the publicist and press agent, the history of the relationship between journalists and public relations practitioners remained rocky. Using the New York Times as a lens, this study seeks to examine, through a qualitative framing analysis (. N=. 106), how public relations was perceived and discussed by one of its most important audiences, the journalist, during the early years of the twentieth century. The study found that while the tasks and media used in the practice of public relations as framed by the Times may be accurate, the cultural context of the early 20th century called the very "doing" of public relations into question.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)723-732
Number of pages10
JournalPublic Relations Review
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2014



  • Ivy Lee
  • Portrayal of public relations
  • Press agentry
  • Public relations history
  • Publicity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Marketing

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