The Role of PR in Achieving Women’s Rights


Editor’s Note: Photos compiled by the Museum of Public Relations


In 1908 Suffragette Emmeline Pethich-Lawrence created the “uniform” for women identifying with the movement.  This included; white for purity, green for hope and purple for loyalty.  


From the birth of the women’s rights movement in 1848 until passage of the 19th Amendment in 1920, women in the U.S. and abroad had been publishing dozens of newsletters, bulletins and journals to deliver news to women about the various protests and marches in progress (which they could not get into the mainstream press).  One journal, the Suffragist, was founded by activist Alice Paul in 1913, as the official publication for the Congressional Union for Woman Suffrage. 


PR Pioneer Muriel Fox was a co-founder with Betty Friedan of the National Organization for Women. Fox, who had started her career in 1949 as the first woman professional at the Byoir agency, handled all writing and publicity for the new organization.  This photo shows her marching in 1980–dressed like her predecessors, in #suffragettewhite– in support of the Equal Rights Amendment. 


Kamala Harris, honoring the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, wears an all white pantsuit.  The hashtag #suffragettewhite trended over the weekend. This action follows the 2019 State of the Union address, when Congresswomen wore white to celebrate the suffragettes of the prior century.

The Museum of Public Relations Fundraiser to Digitize Artifacts

The Museum of Public Relations, the world’s only museum dedicated to the field, has launched a major initiative to digitize its artifacts– in order for the archive to become accessible to students, educators and professionals around the world, especially during the COVID-19 quarantine.  Any donation would be very appreciated.  Kindly donate through this link:

The Museum’s collection, which has been closed since March, is comprised of more than 2500 rare documents, photos, oral histories and books preserving and chronicling the century-old history of the PR field. The Museum also demonstrates the often under- recognized impact that the field has had on business, culture, politics and society.

Through its recent collaborations with CommPRO the Museum has co-produced a series of exploring the intersection between politics and public relations, including programs featuring CNN’s legal analyst Michael Zeldin interviewing Amb. Andrew Young, John Dean and Brian Stelter. 

Since its beginnings 25 years ago, the Museum has been recognized as the Number One online resource for PR education, with its video interviews of Edward Bernays, Dan Edelman and Harold Burson being among its most downloaded resources. The Museum site also features  photographs, copies of rare books, a PR world-history timeline and a video repository of the many events the Museum has produced over the last several years. These have included six annual diversity events, celebrating, “Black PR History,” “Latino PR History,” and most recently, “The AAPI Community in Public Relations,” all of which pay tribute to the very rich diversity of the field’s history

The Museum’s outreach to students and professionals around the world includes guest lectures to universities in Argentina, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK, as well as events which attract an international audience, such as the recent “How the World Would Vote” program produced with the Worldcom PR Group and watched by more than 400 professionals worldwide.

Those interested in supporting the Museum’s digitization efforts should

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