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Women and PR: It’s In The Genes (and Jeans)

DNA
Women have the natural ability to be good at public relations; it’s in our genetic make-up.

Experts have discovered that there are actual differences in the growth structure of men and women’s brains causing us to react differently to events and stimuli. It has been joked about for years and proven by scientists. Many of the differences lend the female of the species to an easier success rate in the public relations arena. We have an innate ability to interact with peers, subordinates and other stakeholders. We are inquisitive and value these everyday interactions and relationships.

These characteristics are key in becoming more successful in achieving objectives:

Communication

Because our left and right brain hemispheres work together, women are able to communicated more effectively than men (who are mostly left hemisphereians), focusing on solutions and issues while using and picking up on non-verbal cues such as tone, emotion and empathy. Men are less likely to pick up on emotions and emotional cues.

Multitasking

Women’s corpus callossum, which is essentially the bridge from our brains’ left and right hemispheres, is much bigger than men’s. This allows us the ability to multi-task – another great asset for women! Following through a lifetime of balancing multiple projects, priorities and interests beside our own affords us the opportunity to focus on the most important issues and to cut through the fluff.

We are quite efficient at managing out of the office and in the trenches, allowing us to get critical information for personal and organizational success wherever we go.

Building Relationships

Women typically have a larger deep limbic system than men, allowing us more access to our feelings and expressiveness. We develop deeper relationships. Bright and successful women attract and surround themselves with the best and the brightest.

A great team raises each other to success, less concerned with competition or subordinates, and more motivated with team success.

Successful women are able to tap into their natural ability to communicate and hone in on what needs to be said and asked, while communicating effectively with a wide range of people. The ability to stay with the important issues and follow them through to the end is a necessary evil, avoiding what has been coined as “mutual mystification” where a meeting is adjourned and nothing has been accomplished and no one really knows what was discussed.

Straight talk is essential and another talent that seems to come naturally to women. Success depends on the ability to communicate honestly and effectively while receiving feedback. Too many of the worst management decisions have been made because of lack of communication and un-receptiveness to receiving objective input from others.

Women seem to be less caught up by the official chain of command and offer more of an open door policy, which makes us more receptive to those who reach out to us. We often surround ourselves with a variety of people carrying different perspectives on the real scoop, important concerns, issues and opportunities. It’s yet another of our great attributes that comes naturally – women more successfully nurturing and building relationships.

To sum it all up:

Success tips: use your genes

1. Communicate to resolve anything. It’s what women do best.

2. Multi-task. Women can access both hemispheres of their brain, so use it or lose it. I personally like to watch breaking news while preparing my favorite crock-pot recipe for dinner. Okay, I’m domestic. Keep this a secret!

3. Ask for help. Women work in teams naturally. We have since we lived in caves. So, when you’re feeling stressed, get support from your family, friends and co-workers. Then you can celebrate your success with them.

Success tips: use your jeans

1. Dress for success. When you wake up in the morning, get dressed – even if you work from home. This is a subtle communication to yourself that you are taking care of yourself and you are ready to receive successful results for the day. If you wear comfy jeans because you’re at home, dress them up with some fabulous jewelry or a belt. It will make you smile when you look in the mirror or find yourself on a last minute Skype call where everyone can see your video feed.

2. Rely on the seat of your pants. Let’s face it, many people lie. But what doesn’t lie? Where you seat yourself for success.

Surround yourself with successful people, places and ideas. If you notice you’re seated and listening to a bunch of gossip that makes no difference to your work or life, move it. Go somewhere people feed your creative energy. Bottom’s up for success!

3. Name your brand. You may not be in high school, but it’s probably still true … we all have our favorite brand of jeans. I love Levi’s. Note your brand and mention it over and over again.

Okay, I’m not really talking about your jeans. I’m talking about you, your business and what success you’re trying to build.

Create it and then talk, talk, talk. Name your brand every time you open your mouth.

Shoot, I’ve even told the coffee shop lady about my latest project. Talking about your brand and your success helps you bring it into existence. So, no matter what: name your brand.

Remember, we can achieve success by allowing ourselves tap into our natural abilities as women. This is what separates the dream of success from the reality. Use your genes.

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Image: Mark Cummins via Flickr, Creative Commons

Twenty-year PR veteran Michelle Tennant Nicholson is Chief Creative Officer of Wasabi Publicity and co-founder of www.PitchRate.com, a free media tool that connects journalists, publicists, and experts. Called a five-star publicist by Good Morning America’s Mable Chan, Michelle specializes in international PR, working regularly with the likes of Oprah, Larry King, BBC, The Today Show and other major media. Contact her at PR bloghttp://www.StorytellerToTheMedia.com where she teaches tips from the trade.


    1. Unbelievable. This just might be the worst PR article I’ve ever read (and I don’t regularly comment online, but this is outrageous). Can you imagine a similar article stating that men have the natural ability to be heads of state, or men have a natural ability to be good airline pilots or engineers? The pseudoscience to support this claim is such a stretch at best. I’ve been doing PR for nearly 20 years, and the truth is that anyone can be good at PR, assuming that they can think and communicate well. I’ve known a lot of women in PR who were abysmal. I’ve known a lot of men in PR who are rock stars. Gender makes no difference — and any attempt to say it does only demeans and degrades the whole PR profession.

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    2. @mckietweets

      Hi Chris! Thanks for reading my article and for expressing your opinion. It’s so nice to get a male perspective from what I thought was a mostly female audience. Just to be clear, I never said men couldn’t be great at PR– just that women naturally possess some of the skill-sets that make a great publicist, like multitasking. Here’s a fun study that supports that claim: http://theweek.com/article/index/205156/are-women-really-better-at-multi-tasking

      Pseudoscience? Maybe. But I do feel like the woman in the second photo (Michelle with Mags & Phone) most days! http://michelletennant.wordpress.com/photos/

      And just so you know, I confirmed a client interview for a syndicated, national NPR segment and pitched another client to the Wall Street Journal (which generated a frontpage mention) while I was writing the article. ;-)

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    3. @mckietweets

      Hi Chris! Thanks for reading my article and for expressing your opinion. It’s so nice to get a male perspective from what I thought was a mostly female audience. Just to be clear, I never said men couldn’t be great at PR– just that women naturally possess some of the skill-sets that make a great publicist, like multitasking. Here’s a fun study that supports that claim:

      http://theweek.com/article/index/205156/are-women-really-better-at-multi-tasking

      Pseudoscience? Maybe. But I do feel like the woman in the photo most days!

      And just so you know, I confirmed a client interview for a syndicated, national NPR segment and pitched another client to the Wall Street Journal (which generated a frontpage mention) while I was writing the article. ;-)

      3
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