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Harold Burson on Public Relations: The Business of Persuasion

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Much as Ogilvy wrote the bible on advertising, Burson has written the must-read book for the public relations industry. Harold Burson, described by PR Week as "the [20th] century's most influential PR figure," is perhaps the most recognized name in the industry today. The 96-year-old founder of PR giant Burson-Marsteller has had an incredible 70-year career, in which Much as Ogilvy wrote the bible on advertising, Burson has written the must-read book for the public relations industry. Harold Burson, described by PR Week as "the [20th] century's most influential PR figure," is perhaps the most recognized name in the industry today. The 96-year-old founder of PR giant Burson-Marsteller has had an incredible 70-year career, in which he built a global enterprise from a one-man consulting firm. In this illuminating and engaging business memoir, Burson traces his career from studying at Ole Miss to serving in World War II, reporting on the Nuremburg trials, and joining with Bill Marsteller. Together, he and Marsteller made history in a new venture that would grow to be one of the biggest public relations companies in the world, with over 60 offices on six continents. By way of personal and professional examples, Burson shows readers what public relations really entails--its challenges, methodologies, and impacts. His anecdotes on PR challenges like the "Tylenol crises," the removal of confederate flags from Ole Miss, and the introduction of "New Coke" illustrate Burson's time-tested tenets of great PR and crisis management. He interweaves iconic moments from the history of public relations into his story, making this a priceless and fascinating guide for professionals in any industry. Public relations is practiced not only by every institution, but also by every individual. Throughout his ground-breaking career, which Burson describes as "a series of defining moments," Burson set standards for corporate and individual behavior, insisting upon corporate social responsibility, product excellence, and unabated integrity. His legacy has shaped generations, and will shape many more to come.


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Much as Ogilvy wrote the bible on advertising, Burson has written the must-read book for the public relations industry. Harold Burson, described by PR Week as "the [20th] century's most influential PR figure," is perhaps the most recognized name in the industry today. The 96-year-old founder of PR giant Burson-Marsteller has had an incredible 70-year career, in which Much as Ogilvy wrote the bible on advertising, Burson has written the must-read book for the public relations industry. Harold Burson, described by PR Week as "the [20th] century's most influential PR figure," is perhaps the most recognized name in the industry today. The 96-year-old founder of PR giant Burson-Marsteller has had an incredible 70-year career, in which he built a global enterprise from a one-man consulting firm. In this illuminating and engaging business memoir, Burson traces his career from studying at Ole Miss to serving in World War II, reporting on the Nuremburg trials, and joining with Bill Marsteller. Together, he and Marsteller made history in a new venture that would grow to be one of the biggest public relations companies in the world, with over 60 offices on six continents. By way of personal and professional examples, Burson shows readers what public relations really entails--its challenges, methodologies, and impacts. His anecdotes on PR challenges like the "Tylenol crises," the removal of confederate flags from Ole Miss, and the introduction of "New Coke" illustrate Burson's time-tested tenets of great PR and crisis management. He interweaves iconic moments from the history of public relations into his story, making this a priceless and fascinating guide for professionals in any industry. Public relations is practiced not only by every institution, but also by every individual. Throughout his ground-breaking career, which Burson describes as "a series of defining moments," Burson set standards for corporate and individual behavior, insisting upon corporate social responsibility, product excellence, and unabated integrity. His legacy has shaped generations, and will shape many more to come.

58 review for Harold Burson on Public Relations: The Business of Persuasion

  1. 4 out of 5

    Naufal Arifin

    Harold Burson didn't overly glorify himself despite having substantial influence in the public relations industry, which makes his autobiography a compelling read. Every chapter also end with takeaways that everyone can learn, and will have me re-visit the book sometimes in the future, even if it just to read certain chapters or skim the takeaway pages. May he rest in peace. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/10/bu... Harold Burson didn't overly glorify himself despite having substantial influence in the public relations industry, which makes his autobiography a compelling read. Every chapter also end with takeaways that everyone can learn, and will have me re-visit the book sometimes in the future, even if it just to read certain chapters or skim the takeaway pages. May he rest in peace. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/10/bu...

  2. 5 out of 5

    Laura Bedrossian

    This should be required reading for all comms, marketing, ad, and journalists. So many great anecdotes and lessons to be learned.

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