Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Kummerfeldt, Irvan J.

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of Journalism


Public relations--United States; Architecture--United States


The purpose of this study is to examine the use of architecture as a public relations tool in ten United States companies. Telephone interviews were held with representatives of each of the companies. The questions were open-ended and were adapted to the company and its spokesman's responses in the interview. A follow-up questionnaire was sent to nine of the ten companies. Four questionnaires were returned, three completed and one unanswered. In summary, the following conclusions may be drawn: 1. Companies do consider public relations benefits when selecting a building design. 2. Construction costs are increased when public relations benefits are part of the building design choice. 3. Building design is not used as public relations tool. 4. The benefits of public relations tools such as architecture can be measured. Contact with the media, primarily through press releases, is the most common method of promoting a building when construction is completed. Only three of the ten companies maintained an active architectural/public relations program after the building opened. Their promotional techniques varied from brochures, to media contact, to hosting and sponsoring special events. None of the companies has conducted a formal survey of the effectiveness of architecture in their public relations programs. Most companies relied on customer response, primarily through letters, that their building design made a corporate statement that was beneficial to the company's image. The companies studied were: 1. Best Products Company, Inc. Richmond, Virginia 2. Campana Corporation Batavia, Illinois 3. Carson, Pirie, Scott & Company — Restoration Chicago, Illinois 4. Chamber of Commerce Columbus, Indiana 5. Citizens & Southern Bank Atlanta, Georgia 6. First National Bank Chicago, Illinois 7. Hyatt Regency Hotel Atlanta, Georgia 8. Lytton's - Restoration Chicago, Illinois 9. Sears, Roebuck & Company — Sears Tower Chicago, Illinois 10. Transamerica Corporation San Francisco, California


Includes bibliographical references.||Includes illustrations.


vi, 79 pages




Northern Illinois University

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