Arthur W. Page

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Arthur W. Page was a vice president and director of AT&T from 1927 to 1947. He is sometimes referred to as the father of "corporate public relations" for his work at AT&T.[1][2] The company was experiencing resistance from the public to its monopolization efforts.[3] In the early 1900s, AT&T had assessed that 90 percent of its press coverage was negative, which was reduced to 60 percent by changing its business practices and disseminating information to the press.[4] According to business historian John Brooks, Page positioned the company as a public utility and increased the public's appreciation for its contributions to society.[3] Stuart Ewen said AT&T used its advertising dollars with newspapers to manipulate its coverage and had their PR team write feature stories that were published as if they were written by independent journalists.[5]

Page established a series of public relations heuristics generally referred to as the Page Principles.[citation needed] He was born 10 September 1883 to Walter Hines Page and his wife Willa A. Page of Aberdeen, North Carolina. Arthur helped his father with the monthly magazine World's Work, and in 1913 took over as editor from his father.

In 1927 Walter S. Gifford hired Page to become vice-president for public relations at AT&T. One of his first assignments was to prepare a speech for President Gifford to present in October that year to the National Association of Railroad and Utilities Commissioners meeting in Dallas, Texas.[3] In 1941, when the book The Bell Telephone System by A.W. Page was published, the Dallas speech was quoted in chapter 2: "Responsibility for such a large part of the entire telephone service of the country...imposes on the management an unusual obligation to the public..."[6]

Arthur lived until September, 1960.

He is today recognized in the name of an organization called the Arthur W. Page Society, an organization for senior public relations executives.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Barbara Diggs-Brown (May 15, 2011). Strategic Public Relations: Audience Focused Practice, 1st ed.: An Audience-focused Approach. Cengage Learning. ISBN 978-0-534-63706-4. 
  2. ^ M. Larry Litwin (2009). The Public Relations Practitioner's Playbook: A Synergized Approach to Effective Two-way Communication. AuthorHouse. p. 9. ISBN 978-1-4389-9475-8. Retrieved July 25, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c John Brooks (1976). Telephone: the first hundred years. Harper & Row. ISBN 978-0-06-010540-2. 
  4. ^ Watson, Tom (2012). "The evolution of public relations measurement and evaluation". Public Relations Review 38 (3): 390–398. doi:10.1016/j.pubrev.2011.12.018. ISSN 0363-8111. 
  5. ^ Stuart Ewen (August 4, 2008). Pr!: A Social History of Spin. Basic Books. ISBN 978-0-7867-2414-7. 
  6. ^ AW Page (1941) The Bell Telephone System, p 12, Harper & Brothers
  7. ^ "About The Society". Arthur W. Page Society. Retrieved 8 December 2014. 
  • Noel L. Griese (2001) Arthur W. Page: publisher, public relations pioneer, patriot, Anvil Publishers, ISBN 0-9704975-0-4 .