I work with a colleague who is smart, funny, has a degree in science, knows how to sell a story angle to the most cynical reporter… and also looks like a fashion model.
Being in technology PR, we often end up at networking events with mostly men, such as when we were responsible for the PR for a venture capital event attended by 650 men and 30 women.
Even though we do our job well, my colleague and I often talk about first impressions and getting over PR stereotypes.
Do you ever get the feeling that, when people find out you’re a PR practitioner, they talk down to you, don’t take you seriously or even start flirting with you?
This type of reaction to PR executives is pretty common, especially if you happen to be a young lady. In heels.
Unfortunately, thanks to how PR execs have been portrayed in mass media, people now have many negative stereotypes about us. Remember Samantha Jones, played by Kim Cattrall of Sex and the City?
A study of TV and film’s portrayal of PR practitioners (Everidge, 2010) concluded that positive and neutral portrayals are beginning to outweigh negative ones. However, they are often still inaccurate.