I recently saw a great post on Ragan’s PR Daily and it made me think. The post is titled “Does your attire matter in the PR business?”. Does it?
I have been in the marketing/public relations/communications business for 10 years and I can’t honestly say that I have a clue as to the answer to this question. My father, although he is coming around, still thinks you have to wear a suit everyday to work or you are not working. Don’t tell Dad but I don’t even own a suit! Sure I have a variety of dress pant and sport coat options that get me by if needed but I can count the number of times on one hand that I have worn them to client meetings. When I did I can’t say that it helped or hurt my meeting either…so does it matter at all as long as your clothing isn’t offensive?
My new job with Pineapple Advertising actually discourages the corporate look because that is not what the agency is all about. We are trendy and comfortable and when we meet with clients they are low-key and fun no matter what the budget or client…it is the personality of the company.
When I am meeting with clients for freelance jobs I tend to adjust my attire to suit the client…if it is a law firm then they get a corporate look…if it’s a non-profit they get casual. But does it really matter?
Is your dress code more meaningful to you or to your audience? Should you focus on what makes you comfortable and confident or should you dress in a manner that makes your audience comfortable and confident in what you are saying? I think it can go both ways and often times if you are comfortable and confident that is what will come across in your message anyway.
I also think there is some truth to the thinking that if you do not have to worry about what you wear each day then you can worry more about doing your job better.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic…maybe you can give me some ammunition for good old Dad the next time he calls me a hippy!