Earlier today I was reading a post by Bill Sledzik, PR and the 'chick factor': What Kent State learned about the missing men of public relations. Sledzik and his students conducted a survey to help determine why many public relations programs and the profession are dominated by women. One quote from a non PR student was pretty telling.
Sunday, May 18, 2008
"...it's harder to tell if a woman is lying, so they're probably better at the job," said the student. It's easy to roll my eyes and say that this young man is clearly misinformed. However, I wonder how much this is a representation of how most people view public relations.
One of the problems with our profession's image is the average person has very little contact with a public relations professional. Unless they have a relative in the PR business, the first time many people encounter PR is after college. That is why characters such as Samantha Jones from Sex and the City heavily influence perceptions. People do not have a reality to compare the fictional representation against. I've personally been compared to Samantha Jones more times than I would like to count.
I think the best thing we can do is get to high school students early. Have PRos come in to career centers and speak in classes. Even those who do not go into PR will have an accurate perception of who we are and what we do.
Photo by Discoodoni
Posted by Hannah at 10:25 AM