ASSIGNMENT >> 17. Read “Easing Human Relations.”


There is another basic element of public relations that is often overlooked and given far too little importance, but when applied correctly can give one a foundation for success in dealing with others.

The original procedure developed by man to oil the machinery of human relationships was “good manners.” 

Various other terms that describe this procedure are politeness, decorum, formality, etiquette, form, courtesy, refinement, polish, culture, civility, courtliness and respect. 

Even the most primitive cultures had highly developed rituals of human relationship. A study of twenty-one different primitive races shows the formalities which attended their interpersonal and intertribal and interracial relationships to be quite impressive. 

Throughout all races, “bad manners” are condemned. 

Those with “bad manners” are rejected

Thus the primary technology of public relations was “manners.” 

Therefore, a person or team of people applying the techniques of public relations who have not drilled and mastered the manners accepted as “good manners” by those being contacted will fail. Such a person or team may know all the senior PR technology and yet fail miserably on the sole basis of “exhibiting bad manners.” 

“Good manners” sum up to: 

(a) granting importance to the other person and 

(b) using the two-way communication cycle. 

In dealing with people, it is impossible to get one’s ideas across and gain any acceptance without a two-way communication cycle. 

By “cycle” is meant a span of time with a beginning and an end. In a cycle of communication we have one person originating a communication to a second person who receives the communication, understands it and acknowledges it, thus ending the cycle. In a two-way communication cycle, the second person now originates a communication to the first person who receives it, understands it and acknowledges it. In other words, the two-way communication cycle is a normal cycle of a communication between two people. It is not a two-way communication cycle if either person fails, in his turn, to originate a communication when he should. 

Whatever motions or rituals there are, these two factors—granting importance to the other person, and using the two-way communication cycle—are involved. Thus a person violating them will find himself and his program rejected. 

Arrogance and force may win dominion and control but will never win acceptance and respect. 

For all his “mental technology” the psychiatrist or psychologist could never win applause or general goodwill because they are personally (a) arrogant beyond belief (b) hold others in scathing contempt (“man is an animal,” “people are all insane,” etc.). 

They just don’t have “good manners”; i.e., they do not (a) consider or give others a feeling of importance and (b) they are total strangers to a communication cycle. 

Successful PR

All successful public relations, then, is built upon the bedrock of good manners, as these are the first technology developed to ease human relations. 

Good manners are much more widely known and respected than public relations technology. Therefore no public relations technology will be successful if this element is omitted. 

Brushing off “mere guards” as beneath one’s notice while one goes after a contact with their boss can be fatal. Who talks to their boss? These “mere guards.” 

Making an appointment and not keeping it, issuing an invitation too late for it to be accepted, not offering food or a drink, not standing up when a lady or important man enters, treating one’s subordinates like lackeys in public, raising one’s voice harshly in public, interrupting what someone else is saying to “do something important,” not saying thank you or good night—these are all “bad manners.” People who do these or a thousand other discourtesies are mentally rejected by those with whom they come into contact. 

As public relations is basically acceptance then bad manners defeat it utterly. 

To apply the techniques of PR successfully, a person has to have good manners. 

This is not hard. One has to assess his attitude toward others and iron it out. Are they individually important? And then he has to have his two-way communication cycle so perfect and natural, it is never noticed. 

Given those two things, a person can now learn the bits of ritual that go to make up the procedure that is considered “good manners” in the group with which he is associating. 

Then given public relations technology correctly used, one has successful PR. 


People resent those who grant them no importance. One crucial part of “good manners” is granting importance to other people.
To see and acknowledge the existence of people is a granting of their importance.

You have no idea how important people are. There is a reversed ratio— those at the bottom have a self-importance far greater than those at the top who are important. A charlady’s (cleaning woman’s) concept of her own importance is far greater than that of a successful general manager! 

Ignore people at your peril

Flattery is not very useful, is often suspect, as it does not come from a sincere belief and the falsity in it is detectable to all but a fool. 

A person’s importance is made evident to him by showing him respect, or just by assuring him he is visible and acceptable. 

To see and acknowledge the existence of someone is a granting of their importance. 

To know their name and their connections also establishes importance. 

Asserting one’s own importance is about as acceptable as a dead cat at a wedding. 

People have value and are important. Big or small they are important. 

If you know that, you are halfway home with good manners. 

Thus public relations can occur. 


The two-way communication cycle is more important than the content. 

The content of the communication, the meaning to be put across to another or others, is secondary to the fact of a two-way communication cycle. 

A communication which travels in one direction only never establishes a two-way communication cycle. In social situations, acceptance of the person won’t occur without it.

Good manners require a two-way communication cycle between oneself and the other person.

Communication exists to be replied to or used. 

Communication, with the communication cycle present first, must exist before it carries any message. 

Messages do not travel on no communication line. The line or route along which a communication travels from one person to another must be there. 

Advertising is always violating this. “Buy Beanos!” into the empty air. Other things must establish the line. And the line must be such as to obtain an answer, either by use or purchase or reply. 

A funny example was a salesman who without preamble or reason wrote to people and told them to buy a multithousand-dollar product without even an explanation of its use or value. Response zero. No communication line. He was writing to a name but not really to anyone. 

In social intercourse a communication cycle must be established before any acceptance of the speaker can occur. Then one might get across a message. 

Good manners require a two-way communication cycle. This is even true of social letters and phone calls. 

Out of this one gets “telling the hostess good night as one leaves.” 

One really has to understand the two-way communication cycle to have really good manners. 

Without a two-way communication cycle, public relations is pretty poor stuff. 


If an American Indian’s ritual of conference was so exact and complex, if a thousand other primitive races had precise social conduct and forms of address, then it is not too much to ask modern man to have good manners as well. 

But “good manners” are less apparent in our times than they once were. This comes about because the intermingling of so many races and customs have tended to destroy the ritual patterns once well established in the smaller units. 

So one appears to behold a sloppy age of manners. 

This is no excuse to have bad manners. 

One can have excellent manners by just observing: 

a. Importance of people 

b. Two-way communication cycle 

c. Local rituals observed as proper conduct

These are the first musts of someone applying PR technology.

On that foundation can be built an acceptable public relations presence that makes PR succeed. 

One can influence the community as a whole with public relations technology.
A survey done on sufficient numbers of the public...
...discloses the concern that is most real to them.
A program can then be drawn up for the group that forwards their goals and which now gains community support.
The result is increased cooperation with actions that improve conditions in society and the world.

fitting or proper behavior, what is in accordance with good breeding; the avoidance of anything offensive in manner.

the formal rules for polite behavior in society or in a particular group.

1. the process of improving something and making it more effective by removing what is considered imperfect while inserting better elements. 2. elegance of feeling, taste, manners, language, etc.

refinement, especially of style, that is the mark of expertise or experience.

the state or condition of being courtly, showing great delicacy and refinement in behavior.

a set of fixed actions and sometimes words performed regularly, especially as part of a religious ceremony or social custom.

ability or power of controlling something.

bitterly severe.

a servant of low rank.

the corresponding relationship between two or more things; proportional relation. A ratio is sometimes expressed as a number or amount in relationship to another number or amount. For example, if a person spends ten hours inside and one hour outside, the ratio is 10:1 or ten to one.

a woman employed to clean a house or office.

accepting the responsibility or risks of whatever consequences may result, especially from one’s actions in disregarding or disobeying someone or something, a phrase used especially in warnings or commands.

partway to the intended goal or accomplishment one has set out to achieve.

the route along which a communication travels from one person to another.

a made-up name.

communication or exchanges between people or groups, especially conversation or social activity.