Is image everything?

Yesterday I was going through art magazines, monitoring coverage of the Henry Hudson exhibition at Sir John Soane’s Museum (if you’re into Hogarth and want to see a new take on his work, go along).

It amused me to see how the different editors of the art journals all had moody photos next to their editorials – you work in art, ergo you must look arty.

It made me wonder, what does a marketer look like? Or a copywriter?

Look at the staff photos of any web design company and you’ll see mainly guys and girls in their twenties to early thirties, and yes, there will be a geek or two in there.

PR professionals? Well, we all know what they look like.

But marketers? Do we have to look corporate or earthy? Shiny or experienced? And does it really matter what we look like?

According to one business networking site – it’s all about image:-

Research by Robert Half, a British Recruitment Specialist, on career advancement at work, says only 10% is based on how good you are at your job. 30% is your appearance and body language and 60% is how well you interact and network, which is dependent on how you look.

I’m not sure I believe that. As my dear old mum says, handsome is as handsome does.

It’s a great thing to look professional, and of course it will get you in the door when you’re looking for new business. I’ve even consulted a fashion stylist myself to find out what will make me look the part when dealing with certain clients ( – and I have to say it worked.

But at the end of the day, it’s what you do that matters.

If we hide behind good design, and write bad copy, or develop a marketing strategy that bombs, we’re not going to look good – however we package ourselves.

So next time you’re off to see a new client in your ‘business’ outfit take a longer look in the mirror and ask yourself “Have I done my research? Am I prepared for this meeting?”

There’s nothing better looking than a well-informed professional.







About Philippa

Philippa Cowley-Thwaites is a no-nonsense South Londoner with a passion for communications. Since graduating in English from London University in 1983 she has established herself as an expert communicator for a variety of brands in the private, public and voluntary sector with great success – she’s one of the best business writers in the business.

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