Marketing Pioneer Daniel Edelman Dies at 92

Mobile marketing was nowhere on the radar of Daniel Edelman when his iconic career in marketing began decades ago, but his subsequent impact on all facets of marketing can be felt today, even in the mobile channel.

On Tuesday, Edelman – the man behind the largest independent public-relations firm in the country – passed away at the age of 92.

“Mr. Edelman didn’t invent the publicity stunt but cultivated all sorts of new possibilities for it at the dawn of the TV age,” recallsĀ  Steven R. Stahler of AdAge. “He was a pioneer of integrating public relations into marketing campaigns to sell products. One of his fixations was treating corporate anniversaries, even odd-numbered ones, as newsworthy.”

Edelman was a master of personalized pubic relations, a practice that heavily influenced the contemporary school of thought which places a premium on relevant and targeted marketing campaigns in mobile.

Getting personal is also how he handled clients.

“He knew as much about your company and your personal interests as many of your best friends,” says former client Ron Culp.

Edelman was born in New York in 1920 and would go on to graduate from Columbia University before becoming a newspaper editor and reporter. After serving during World War II, he relocated to Chicago in 1947, where he would later establish his marketing empire.

Edelman retired as CEO of the company in 1996. Edelman still retains 65 offices with more than 4,400 employees globally.