PR Campaigns – The blog

October 23, 2008

Names can never hurt you…?

Filed under: CAST Communication — dfishfel @ 7:24 pm

In the PR Conversations blog, Catherine Arrows’ post “Time To Bend Gender Attitudes for Social and Professional” change, she discusses the role of women in the PR industry.  She explains that in a few recent events she has attended “feminization of the public relations profession” has been a main issue of discussion.  One discussion brought up at an event was about trying to get more “men” in the PR profession in order to be seen as a more credible industry.  At another event, the discussion was about that if the number of women in the PR industry were to increase, it would undermine the industry.  And lastly, at another event, it was stated that “women don’t do technical” so as the use of online tools progressed, the number one women in the industry would decrease.  Not only are these thoughts of women being discussed, but also different names such has “PR Bunnies”, “PR Poppets”, and “Fluffy Bunnies” are being used when talking about a woman in the PR industry.  Catherine also states that even today, there is still a pay gap between men and women in the PR industry.

So, why do we allow this? What can we do to change the way women are seen in the PR industry?  With all of the tools we have access shouldn’t the PR industry be the leaders in trying to change this double standard and stereotyping towards women.  Catherine also mentioned that not only do we need to protect the use of language that is directed towards women, but also towards all PR professionals in general.  Such names as “spin doctors” or “from the dark side” do not make us look very good to the public.  It is all about the use of language.  So what can we do to better this industry and its reputation?

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5 Comments »

  1. The fact that women are being criticized for being in this industry seems absolutely absurd to me. First of all, I have noticed that the profession seems to be dominated by women, and thus women should be able to receive more respect than what is mentioned in your post. I think that in order to get rid of the stereotypes of women in pr, we need to make sure that as a profession, we focus on achieving our goals without the use of actions such as ‘spinning’ a campaign. By performing ethical and laudable pr, we can overcome these stereotypes.

    Comment by cate415 — October 23, 2008 @ 9:00 pm | Reply

  2. It really gets under my skin that such stereotyping is still being used against women even in the PR industry. I agree with Caitlin that women deserve more credit than they are receiving, which is especially surprising since PR is a female-dominated profession. But in no way do I think this is a weakness. I think people are underestimating women in PR and their capacity to progress with online technology and social media trends. To assume that women will remain less technical than men is an unjust assumption. I don’t believe this will be the case at all. To change such attitudes about women in PR, it’s important that women in the industry work ethically and do their best to dispel stereotypes by becoming technical and exceeding expectations. Many times women have to work twice as hard as men to receive the same amount of respect.

    Comment by marialinda17 — October 27, 2008 @ 11:50 am | Reply

  3. The unjust stereotypes really irritate me as well, I have always been one for “equality among equals.” Equality is deserved when people who have(despite physical characteristics like gender, race, etc.) equal talents, attributes, work, etc. To even imply that being a female would result in lesser quality work or that they are not technical enough for the direction of the future is not only degrading but regressive. However, this is the society we live in, so instead of complaining about it we must be proactive towards these sentiments. It is important to consider and not deny the environment we are working in and proove the nay-sayers wrong. Staying on top of trends, making sure you are technically literate and contiuing to educate yourself should be priorities for all members of the public relations industry, not just women. Unfortunately, it is vital that we as women make an extra effort to not only keep up, but make a strong impression that we are equally as capable, if not more so, than any man.

    Comment by kristarogers — October 27, 2008 @ 1:51 pm | Reply

  4. The fact that women in PR are being underminded and degraded is no surprise to me, as these judgments typically are applied to females in most industries. Salary gaps between men and women who are doing the same work occurs in nearly every field, and women are usually not taken as seriously in many professions.
    I compare these stereotypes and barriers to problems that stand in the way of a public relations’ campaign acheiving its objectives. As a woman working toward securing a prominent position in PR, I have to follow a plan that consists of a headstrong and dedicated attitude that will get me to where I want to be, no matter what stands in my way.

    Comment by letsgoblogging — October 27, 2008 @ 9:39 pm | Reply

  5. I agree that most of this profession is filled with women, but I think the point here is in what area are women in? Upper managment consists mostly of men. And like letsgetblogging says, this is typical is most industries. I do have to say that I was surprised to here some of the terminoligy used to describe women such as “fluffy bunnies” and “PR bunnies.” This is the first time I’ve heard of this and it’s quite shocking.
    Part of PR is helping reputations and we need to work on our own too. The way to do that is like cate415 says: by perfoming ethical and laudable PR.

    Comment by ambrewe1 — October 28, 2008 @ 10:05 am | Reply


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