Oral Histories

Dan Edelman

Interview Segments on Topic: Code of Ethics/Mission Statement/Credo

Dan Edelman Biography

Daniel Edelman is founder and chairman of Daniel J. Edelman, Inc., the world’s largest privately held independent firm with 45 offices across the globe.  He began his PR career as director of public relations for the Toni division of Gillette in 1948 where he created the first-ever product media tour, taking 12 sets of identical twins across the country.   The success of the tour gave him the confidence to launch his private firm in Chicago in 1952.

Edelman continued his “big ideas” with other products, defining Edelman, Inc. as the expert in marketing public relations and excelling in new product launches, brand building and setting the standard for the direct marketing industry.


Interviewer: Is it important for a corporation or an organization to have an ethical mission statement or credo as part of their overall mission statement?

Edelman: Yeah I think it’s probably part of the code of ethics of most companies. And I think most public relations firm have a mission statement but I must say I can’t repeat it by heart. We have it and it’s nice to have on front of the brochure or something. But it’s not how we live. We live based on our moral standards that were ingrained by our parents and teachers and religious leaders or whomever else we were in contact with and you build your moral code as you develop as a person. And you know you can develop right or wrong. If you live in another kind of environment you might get off in the wrong direction. And make a crucial error.