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            Press agentry, what does this really meant? Is this the one the actors in the television and movie industry have? How is this connected with Public Relations? In this module, you will know the answer to these questions as you go through reading it. Hope you'll enjoy this part of the modules!




  1. To show what press agentry mean.
  2. To differentiate press agentry and public relations as the same activity.
  3. To show what press agentry can do as a PR tool



Press Agenty


            Press Agentry means the publicity produced by a press agents work or skill, especially in making a person or thing seem more desirable, admirable, or successful. Initially, it is a one way communication often in an exaggerated from where the receiver has no input.


The Press Agentry/Publicity Model


          Sometimes called the P.T. Barnum model is almost pure propaganda. It is one-way communication that is often more hype than fact. In this model, the truth is not a priority. The press agentry model is used mostly to promote entertainment events like boxing.



Role of Press Agentry


            Press agentry plays a major role in record companies, circuses, tourist attractions, motion pictures studios, television, concert promotions, and the business enterprises headed by "media personalities", Considerable press agentry goes into political campaigns and national political party conventions to build name recognition and attract large audience. Successful press agents gave us the legends of Davy Crockett and Hulk Hogan; promoted Indianapolis 500 Memorial Day auto race into a national event; made Miami Beach and Puerto Vallarta internationally knowm resorts; turned Florida's Disney World into a vacation destination even before opening day; made the Batman Returns, Unforgiven, and Disney's Alladin must-see movies before editing was completed; opened our hearts to killer whales ("Shamu") and invader from outer space.


            Press agents work to attract public notice than to build public understanding. Publicity is the major strategy of press agents. They base their approach on the "agenda-setting theory", which says that the amount of mass media coverage subsequently determines the relative importance of topics and people on the public agenda. In the candid words of a veteran press agent, "We stoop to anything, but our stuff gets printed."And it can pay off.


Brief History


            The profession of public relations has generally been perceived to originated in the United States with the activities of press agentry in the 19th century, it continued to develop due to the increased concern corporations had with public opinion in the early 20th century. P.T. Barnum, the circus entrepreneur, was considered a leader in the field during his time. He was the most commonly associated with developing the attention-getting tactics used in press agentry. Ivy Ledbetter Lee was another pivotal force in the early development of public relations.



How Public Relations Uses Press Agentry in the Organizations Activities?


            The formal practice of what today is called public relations is less than 100 years old. Yet during its relatively brief history, public relations had been defined in many widely differing ways. Not surprisingly, the earliest definitions emphasized the roles of press agentry and publicity since these were major elements from which modern public relations grew.


            Later as public relations was recognized and employed by more organizations, definitions began to include:


                                 The need for research prior to initiating actions, careful planning ang thorough evaluation or measurement of results.


  •  A continuing, systematic process instead of a one time or single activity.
  •  Multiple audiences or publics.
  •  Its role as an essential function of management.
  • Public participation, meditation, conciliation, arbitration and accommodation as important tools.
  • The need, in most instances, for long term commitment.

           There are full time agents, and most public relations practitioners engage in a little press agentry at some time or another to achieve public awareness objectives through publicity. There is more to public relations than press agentry, however. Confusion results when press agents use the term public relations to describe what they do or to give themselves and their agencies more prestigious-if less accurate-title.





            Now that we have identified Press Agentry and Public Relations from each other, let us now make those mind work and see what you have learned from the module.




  1. Discuss press agentry as a PR tool. Also, discuss its role and importance to a PR project.

Sierra Patricia G. Milan 

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