September 22, 2017

Helping PR pros make smarter decisions

Two Thoughts on Tuesday

Two Thoughts on Tuesday

**First up: File this under “did no one realize this was offensive? Really?”**
I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t watch reality television so I didn’t see the program in question, but the post on the WSJ Blog [The Juggle](http://blogs.wsj.com/juggle/2008/05/12/non-mom-mishap-at-americas-favorite mom-contest/) has all of the relevant information. Apparently, there is an “America’s Favorite Mom” Contest, wherein people vote for moms who have been nominated in a number of categories, including: Single Mom, Working Mom, Military Mom, etc. And in an effort to recognize those women out there who nurture and love us as much as our moms do, they had another category for all of the aunts, and grandmas, and close family friends. It was called the “Non-Mom Mom” category. Clunky name, for sure, but the real problem here is that they included moms who have adopted children in this category. Now maybe it’s because I’ve known quite a few couples who have adopted and have heard some of the truly insensitive and bone-headed stuff that comes out of people’s mouths regarding their kids, but this really rubbed me the wrong way. It also offended a lot of adoptive parents out there. Those moms are not “non-moms.” Teleflora did change the name of the category to “Adopting Moms” but this is really a case where someone running the contest should have thought through labeling anyone who does the hard work of raising a child a “non-mom.” I’m sure Angelina Jolie and [Jamie Lee Curtis](http://www.amazon.com/Tell-Again-About-Night-Born/dp/006024528X) consider themselves moms to their adoptive children. **Next up: The (near) total lack of men in PR and why that’s a problem** Bill Sledzik is [once again](http://toughsledding.wordpress.com/2008/05/12/pr-and-the-chick-factor-what-kent-state-learned-about-the-missing-men-of-public-relations/) tackling this topic, and I applaud him for it. While it wasn’t the case in the practice group I was in at a large PR firm, the professional ranks of PR are dominated by women. (In case you are wondering, I was in a Public Affairs practice. As I pointed out in the comments on one of Bill’s posts on the topic, it makes sense that there were quite a few men in our group. The firm wanted people experienced in politics, which is still a very male-dominated profession–so that was the pool of applicants from which to choose new hires.) I’m sure that there are many who don’t see this as a problem, as there are a number of professions that are either male- or female-dominated. However, when one is pulling together a communications plan that is supposed to appeal to a variety of audiences, male and female, isn’t it helpful to have a wide range of perspectives contributing? I don’t think anyone can seriously argue that men and women would provide the same perspective on issues.
Bill is addressing this issue from an educator’s perspective–as a professor who is observing a 90 percent rate of women in the PR program at Kent State. So, what can be done? I think that social media is at least one component of the answer. Not too [long ago](http://blog.customscoop.com/customscoop/2007/08/why-are-there-s.html), there were posts asking where all of the female PR bloggers are–this is an area of PR that does seem to be dominated by men. Why? Is it the technology angle? Maybe this is an angle worth exploring.

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About The Author

Jennifer Zingsheim Phillips is the founder of 4L Strategies, and has worked in communications and public affairs for just over 20 years. Her background includes work in politics, government, lobbying, public affairs PR work, content creation, and digital and social communications and media analysis.

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