In public relations appearance matters, even on paper

In public relations, the way in which you present yourself and your organisation is key in conveying an appropriate identity and supporting a positive image.  So why has a mailing from a training organisation on this topic raised my ire?

Rather than feeling positive about an invitation to a “day full of great ideas on image and presentation”, I am really annoyed by the stupidity of this mailing. 

This A4 folded sheet has been mail merged, first class post paid, laminated, and then sealed to save the cost of an envelope.

It is the laminating that has got me mad – it might make it viable for this single sheet to survive the post system, but I cannot recycle it. 

To me this mailing feels slimy and cheap – but more than that, it has clashed with something I care about.  That is poor presentation and communications.

The image I hold of this company now is that its own convenience was more important than the courtesy of using an envelope and quality paper.  And it doesn’t demonstrate any corporate values about the environment.

And, whilst I’m on the topic of appearance – why is this event billed as a “Ladies Day” (no apostrophe included)?  Do only women need “expert advice on how to look great and polish your delivery, an opportunity to practise what you’ve learnt in our radio and TV studios, a buffet lunch and a goody bag to take home! (their exclamation mark)“?

I’ve met far more men who need sartorial and presentational advice – but maybe it is an easier sell to women.

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Heather Yaxley PhD

Dr. Heather Yaxley is passionate about sustainable careers, reflective practice and professional development. I am a rhizomatic educator, practitioner, consultant, academic and scholar. As a qualified academic, I teach the CIPR professional qualifications with PR Academy and have experience teaching at various Universities. I run the Motor Industry Public Affairs Association (MIPAA) and my own strategic consultancy. I was awarded by PhD researching Career Strategies in Public Relations by Bournemouth University in 2017. I'm a published author, with books, chapters and academic papers to my name.