PBPRS Women's History Spotlight, Inez Kaiser, First Black Woman to Own PR Firm

Inez Kaiser, 98, passed away in July 2016,

In 1957, Inez Kaiser, founded the first African American female-owned public relations agency in the United States. Kaiser, grew up in Kansas, in a time — the 1930s — when African Americans living in the South were not allowed the opportunity of a higher education. But, determined to go to college, Kaiser applied to Pittsburgh State University in 1941, and was admitted. Kaiser began her career as a teacher in Missouri, where she spent a lot of her free time writing. Her column, “Fashion-Wise and Otherwise,” was published in African American-owned newspapers across the country. One day an editor suggested that she go into public relations, a field Kaiser had never known of before, but was hooked once she learned about it. In 1957, she opened Inez Kaiser & Associates, the first public relations firm headed by an African American woman in the U.S. It was also the first African American owned business to open in Kansas City, Missouri. In a recent telephone interview conducted by the Museum, Inez gave this advice to PR practitioners: "Always be thorough and honest with your clients, and try your best to develop personal relationships with them.”