Friday, October 8, 2010

PT Barnum, PR Pioneer

One of the most useful attributes of a public relations practitioner is an ability to think outside the box. The 19th century showman, PT Barnum, was practicing PR even before public relations was acknowledged as a profession.

The story goes that Barnum's American Museum was so popular that visitors would spend the whole day there … which cut into Barnum’s profits. So he put up signs that said: “This Way to the Egress.” Not knowing that “egress” was a highfalutin term for “exit,” the customers followed the signs to what they thought was an exotic new attraction — and walked right out the door. If they wanted to get back in, they had to pay again … and Barnum’s profits rose.

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