Oral Histories

Dan Edelman

Interview Segments on Topic: Trust/Credibility

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: What do you feel is the key in building trust and credibility in a company or organization.

Dan Edelman: Well companies don’t establish a reputation overnight. The companies that really have a favorable corporate reputation are those that have been in business. I’m not going to mention names because I leave some out. A lot of them have but we represent large companies that have been in business 50 or 100 years and that’s how long it takes. It’s very rare to be an overnight sensation. I mean, it happens. Microsoft is an example. I said I wouldn’t’ mention client names but that’s one that comes to mind. You know it just come out of the blue, they haven’t been around like GE for a long long time. Many others but they quickly I think it relates to the “Internet period” and the speeding up of everything.