Paul Holmes 19 May 2001 // 11:00PM GMT
Around the turn of the century--long before corporations cared about such things as public image--society cowered beneath the lengthy shadows cast by monster companies. The soulless corporation, ensconced in monolithic skyscrapers and populated by army-sized staffs, was defended by smug men like J.P. Morgan, who believed he owed "the public nothing." One depression and a world war later, corporations began to realize the value of connecting with Main Street, small-town America. By recasting themselves as "good neighbors," businesses such as AT&T and U.S. Steel proved to consumers that they posed no threat to democracy or the American way.
Roland Marchand's Creating the Corporate Soul provides a brilliant look at this transformation, showing how spin doctors gave these callous giants a thorough makeover. Filled with entertaining print ads and interesting case studies, the book shows us the power of public relations and corporate image. Marchand's exhaustive study may even prompt readers to take another look at modern corporations and ask them to reconsider what lies beneath their facades.