Another world of PR?

Gethin Bradley, who is a pioneer of motor industry PR sent me an email recently with a link to British Pathe video. This offers a glimpse at another world – employees celebrating 25 years with Rover, a presentation of a futuristic vehicle to the Science Museum and a media launch for a new Land Rover.

In many ways this looks very different from modern PR practice – much slower pace for the company and the media, for example. But in other ways, the activities are recognisable as the very things that practitioners continue to arrange today.

There may be fewer employees today reaching a quarter of a century with one employer – let alone a family of four brothers as in the newsreel. The museum piece would feature zero emissions and other environmental benefits. And the media launch? Well, there’s less smoking and journalists aren’t so formally dressed today!

But an attention to detail is evident – and it is notable that senior executives of the company are supporting each of the activities. That meant recognising the importance of employee loyalty, reaching a wider public, and the influential role of the media.

The film’s conclusion about Rover being synonymous with motor engineering may sound a little like “spin” with the benefit of hindsight, but this is a fascinating glimpse at how the modern world of PR owes much to those early pioneers.

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Heather Yaxley PhD

Dr. Heather Yaxley is passionate about sustainable careers, reflective practice and professional development. I am a rhizomatic educator, practitioner, consultant, academic and scholar. As a qualified academic, I teach the CIPR professional qualifications with PR Academy and have experience teaching at various Universities. I run the Motor Industry Public Affairs Association (MIPAA) and my own strategic consultancy. I was awarded by PhD researching Career Strategies in Public Relations by Bournemouth University in 2017. I'm a published author, with books, chapters and academic papers to my name.

5 thoughts on “Another world of PR?”

  1. Glad you found time to look at.Yes, management really played their part.Amongst those at the Land Rover launch were members of the originally Rover owning family;the Wilks.Peter Wilks chief engineer and Spen King,much involved with gas turbine Rover prototypes and the designer of the now iconic Range Rover.
    I have amused myself by identifying the journalists and their mostly national newspaper/magazine titles;sadly all dead now!

  2. Is this the same Gethin who led to the term ‘to be Gethined’?

    Loved the film. It was so evocative. The guy who did the vocie over must have done every single documentary from 1930-1965!

    Would be great to segment the film into bite sized chunks of 1-2 minutes and make it a weekly viral serial.

  3. It is indeed the same Gethin. Interesting how film was such a part of PR with the old Pathe news and now that is replicated by YouTube clips. Of course, we’ve much more flexibility today as you say with weekly viral serials which we can create with our iPhones or Flip cameras, edit and upload immediately. Shame we don’t have the classy voice over guy anymore though!

  4. i have a question which is not related to the topic .what is the difference between pblic administration and public relations and public affairs can you explain it to me and how which they help you develop your career ?

  5. Wahab – as I understand it, public administration is about the actual running of public bodies, public affairs tends to relate to government relations (at least in the UK) and public relations is about developing and managing relationships with stakeholders and others who can affect or are affected by the organisation. These are known as publics especially in relation to their involvement in issues that relate to an organisation’s operations. Sometimes public relations is seen as media relations, but that is only one aspect of the field (as is public affairs if you consider political as one group of stakeholders)

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