Do Tall Women Flock to PR?
This is my first official blog post on public relations. The first opportunity I’m taking to discuss the trends and aspects of my industry. My chosen topic: height.
To be fair, I said to my friends and family that I would make every effort not to promote my clients on this blog (as I shamelessly do with my Facebook and Twitter accounts). But when I spend so many waking hours at the office, I’m bound to learn something worth noting here. So, today’s lesson is slightly less professional, though it’s about my profession. Today, I learned that the women on the 5th floor are tall.
Ok – this isn’t a “fact” per se. And yes, the 5th (and 6th) floor of the building houses the talented folks of Qorvis Communications. But you see, when I left the office this evening, a man hopped on the elevator at the 4th floor, and right when he stepped in, he looked at me and said: “You must work on the 5th floor.”
Me: Why, yes, I do. What makes you say that?
Man on 4th: All of the tall women in the building work on the 5th floor. Is that like a requirement to work there?
Man on 4th: No really, every time I get on the elevator with a 5’9” – 5’10” woman, they press 5.
Man on 4th: Are you guys a modeling agency or something?
Me: Um, no. Just a PR agency. [But thank you, Sir. I will pass that along to my colleagues.]
Man: Is there an advantage for women in PR to be tall?
Me: Perhaps…? [I smell a bloooog pooost!]
First of all, yes, I’m aware that I screwed up the opportunity to offer a brilliant elevator pitch. Secondly, yes, the above conversation is paraphrased, but that’s pretty much how it went. And finally, yes, the red and green usage is in honor of the holiday season.
For the record, I was wearing (pretty fabulous, knee high, borderline inappropriate) high-heeled boots, but I’m 5’8” without them – 4 inches taller than average female in the U.S. – so there is some validity to Man on 4th’s claim. As I walked to my car, I couldn’t help but think what an interesting observation he made. Several of my female coworkers, clients and other colleagues (what up, alliteration?!) are fairly tall. And if not, they are often found wearing heels.
So, is there an advantage to for women in PR to be tall or to frequently wear heels? Well, at the very least, it’s convenient. Below are 8 reasons why.
It’s convenient to be tall/wear heels in PR because…
- Height makes it easier to see over spectators and media when running events/press conferences. (Although, I have been forced to lay in front of them…)
- Longer legs = longer strides = faster walking. When isn’t a PR person in a rush?
- There is no need for a laser pointer when giving a presentation.
- Setting up those damn retractable display signs are challenging enough without being unable to reach the top.
- Placing carry-on bags in overhead compartments can be done without the help of the flight attendant. (And you can easily reach the reading lamp if you are still putting the final touches on that plan you have to present when you land. Or, you can easily reach the call button when you need a cocktail on the way back home…)
- You’re able to hail cabs over shorter passersby.
- You can adjust the GOBO yourself when the lighting guy can’t quite get it the way you want.
- You can stand behind the camera guy and still get a good view of the interview.
Now, I’m fully aware that height does not contribute to one’s ability to think strategically, speak eloquently or write proficiently. Moreover, wearing heels does not make one better at providing strategic counsel, guiding an organization through a crisis, developing inventive campaigns, or engaging audiences with tact and ingenuity. I’m not suggesting taller people are more apt, but rather, as a fairly tall person, I’m attempting to find the silver lining after being called-out in an elevator by a stranger.
However, there is one advantage; one female truth universally acknowledged that must be said: wearing heels does make jeans look more “business casual” #justsayin
And another perk of wearing heels? The height advantage for catching bouquets at weddings, of course:
Hey, never miss an opportunity to compete, and win. Now that’s a PR truth.