MR. in PR: Three Tips for Guys in Public Relations
I started out as an intern at RPM this semester and I’m not going to lie, I had my doubts about being part of an all-female team. It’s not like I haven’t worked with women before, and I do consider myself quite a gentleman, but I worried about not being able to relate to my coworkers and possibly feeling unheard. Gender for me is not a big deal - I want to get that out of the way right off the bat - but it is a very different experience to be a male in a female-dominant field.
In working with the wonderful women of RPM, I realized that there is a difference in communication. They all speak genuinely and thoughtfully, and I am asked more about myself than I have been in the four years I’ve spent in my fraternity. The ability they have to connect with someone simply by making eye contact or engaging in another’s interests is a lost art in today’s digital world. (This isn’t just going to be a mushy piece about how much I appreciate my coworkers, but I did want to shout them out.) As a PR team, they have mastered this art of making connections and communicating efficiently, at a level I hope to reach one day.
I came into this field about two years ago after completing five semesters of coursework for Civil Engineering and deciding that was not the route I wanted to take. It was a massive switch going from numbers and equations to publicity and aesthetics, but I welcomed the change. In transitioning from my physics and calculus classes over to the world of PR, I noticed a definite trend in class composition: Female. Not that PR is solely a female occupation, but I had never been one of only three guys in a 30+ student class. It has been more than enjoyable delving deeper into this field, but I have noticed a few things as a man in this arena and I would like to pass them along. With that, here are my top three tips for guys working in PR.
Dress the Part
You have to dress well in this business. PR is such an image-based industry and presentation is everything. Now when I say “dress well” it doesn’t mean you throw on a Nike polo, some chinos, and your nice pair of Sperry’s. Come on now gentlemen, I mean dress WELL. Invest in a pair of boots, look up inspiration on Pinterest and Instagram, learn what a French tuck is (thanks, Queer Eye). When you look put together, clients will assume you are well-organized , and that can make quite a difference. Not to mention the eyebrow raises you’ll get from the ladies in the office when you step your “fit” game up.
Never Stop Learning
I know I’m still considered a newbie to this whole arena, but even in the two years I have been working in PR, things have changed. New apps are created on what feels like a daily basis to streamline communication, scheduling, and even graphic design. It can be easy to get stuck in a rut of the software you know or the procedures you have, but just as the world keeps on turning, we’ve gotta keep on learning. Being aware of the latest and greatest can you give you and your clients a serious advantage.
Keep it Real
Lastly, before I leave you all and go back to my desk, I want to encourage you to be genuine and kind to one another. This field can get stressful and sometimes you may clash with clients or co-workers, but being kind and genuine goes such a long way. Try and make that old-school connection with someone like these ladies of RPM did with me, and see how easily you can spread joy to others.
- Luke the Intern