Online Influencers: An Old Idea in a New Medium

This post is some thoughts pulled from a talk that I gave this week at Ryerson’s Start Up School. For more great resources for entrepreneurs, and to see the slide presentation that I gave, check out ryersonstartupschool.com

Since the dawn of PR, influencers have been an important tool for those people and organizations who want to reach others with their message. This is not an exaggeration. The practice of public relations was basically invented when Edward Bernays, the nephew of Sigmund Freud, hired women to march in the 1929 Easter Sunday Parade smoking cigarettes that they called their “torches of freedom“. Why did Bernays do this? Before this moment, smoking for women was considered taboo, dirty. Bernays effectively linked the act of smoking with the women’s equality movement, and changed public perception for decades to come.

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Online Influencers: An Old Idea in a New Medium