by Heath Nicholson
PT Barnum’s use of press agentry / publicity
Known as the father of publicity, P.T. Barnum is often credited for saying “There’s a sucker born every minute.” Historians suggest Barnum never really did say this, however it is fact that he once said, “Without promotion something terrible happens, nothing!” This quote does an excellent job of defining what Barnum was all about. Exploding the success of his Three Ring Circus and Entertainment Museums, Barnum’s public relations strategies propelled him and his products to incredible fame and fortune.
Being such a great promoter, Barnum was sure to have copy-cats. Designating a single person as “the modern day P.T. Barnum” may be futile. However, one could argue that there is a company mirroring Barnum’s efforts quite successfully: Red Bull. Red Bull has been around since 1987, but in the recent years they have been going to great lengths to promote their product. Events such as the Red Bull Air Race, New Year’s Eve Bike Jump, and the Red Bull Soap Box Race have put Red Bull at the top of the energy drink market.