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Public Image and Personal Branding: What The Shirt?

One of my favourite quotes about public relations is:

“Everything you do or say is public relations.”


I like it because it resonates with my own thoughts about PR; good PR is more than just press releases and media relations it is about managing interactions and communications with clients and colleagues alike. These interactions might be written or verbal or even as subtle as considering what tie to wear before a meeting but they all communicate a message. On top of that the rapid evolution of social media has enabled brands and individuals to take more direct control of their public image and personal branding across a wider stage. Exciting times indeed!

I digress.

#whattheshirt - Nathaniel Cassidy

Personal image is a key area in public relations especially if you believe the psychologists that claim we make a judgement on new people within 7-20 seconds. In my opinion the best tactic with image is to be natural and authentic to yourself as you will appear more confident and relaxed; of course there are exceptions when you may need follow accepted protocol: black tie is a good example and don’t wear white to a wedding unless you’re the bride!

When myself and Tom deliver our social media workshops it is often commented on how chalk and cheese we appear, Tom is a scruffy designer and I’m a smartly dressed if slightly eccentric pr. We both fit into perceived conventions about our respective industries but more importantly it’s authentic as this is how we are both most comfortable. For example on the day that our new business cards were due to be delivered I decided to coordinate with my cards for extra impact at a networking event later in the day. I like this level of attention to detail as regardless of whether other people actually notice, it makes me feel more confident in myself and I am certain that comes across which has to be a good thing.

So my top tips for image are:

  • be comfortable as this will help with your confidence
  • don’t be afraid to stand out and be noticed – it’s not a bad thing to memorable in business
  • do consider your audience and situation – it’s good to be different but you don’t want to be alien

I would love to hear your thoughts on this as I know there is a huge difference in opinion on image.

Finally please have a look at our regular 3ManFactory fashion photo blog WhatTheShirt on our facebook page and feel free to comment, compliment or poke fun alike. At the moment it’s mainly me but I’m trying to get Tom and James involved and if you want to join in simply tag a photo on Twitter with the hashtag #WhatTheShirt we’ll add it to the gallery. Just let us know your name, industry and a bit about your outfit.

I started with a quote so why not finish with one too. I do love a good quote!

A strong, positive self-image is the best possible preparation for success.

Joyce Brothers

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