Nina DiSesa, chairman of McCann Erickson, has written a new book entitled, ‘Seducing the boys club.’
Summarized in a recent Adweek column, DiSesa’s book makes the point that advertising, like most industries, is still dominated by a boys club mentality. Women, says DiSesa, need to use the arts of seduction and manipulation ‘…to earn men’s affection and even their respect…’
Many industries may, indeed, still have the glass ceiling DiSesa complains about. But, PR isn’t one of them. Today, PR has many powerful women running agencies of all size. They range from Marcia Silverman and Helen Ostrowski at Ogilvy and Porter Novelli, respectively, to Margi Booth and Marina Maher at the midsized agency level. And god knows how many gifted female PR solo practitioners and small agency owners are out there.
I’m not sure exactly why women have done so well in PR, but it’s probably a combination of people skills, being more consensus oriented and a host of other attributes.
Unlike the ossified business model that’s hampering advertising’s ability to adapt to our quicksilver Web 2.0 world, public relations provides a level playing field for men and women. It’s one of many reasons why PR is growing in importance while the S.S. Advertising continues taking on water and listing to port.