Dressing for Your PR Media Appearance

By Luke Smith

Did you think when you started your public relations education or career that you’d be the one in front of the camera or microphone? Probably not. However, when you work in PR, you often become the face and/or voice of what or who you’re representing. That means you are more likely to end up on TV than not, and if you’ve never been on TV before, your reactions are likely going to be along the lines of: “Oh my gosh, I’m going to be on TV!”

And then, you’re going to think: “What am I going to wear?!”

Every PR professional should be ready for the possibility of a TV appearance and choosing an outfit for a media appearance can be a bit intimidating. But if you get to know your audience first, let your personality shine in some capacity, gather feedback from trusted sources, and do a few other things, you’ll be well on your way to looking and feeling good at your next appearance.

Here are seven tips for dressing for your PR media appearance.

Know Your Audience

First, it may not seem like it, but knowing your audience is a huge part of dressing for a PR appearance. Not only do you want people to feel comfortable approaching you, but you also want to ensure you aren’t offending anyone with your outfit choice.

For instance, you must be culturally sensitive to your audience. You must explore how your audience’s culture differs from yours. Pay special attention to how they dress so that you don’t wear something inappropriate. Instead, wear attire that honors their cultural customs and rules for fashion.

Be sure to take some time to become more aware of your audience’s culture through extensive research on who they are, where they come from, how they dress, and what you can do so they’ll receive you best.

Next, before you put on anything, take care of your personal hygiene.

Start With Your Personal Hygiene

You could have to most fantastic outfit for your media appearance, but if bad breath and body odor accompany it, that’s all your audience will remember.

When dressing for your PR media appearance, you must start with your personal hygiene. Good personal hygiene is the first step to dressing for professional success because it can communicate to your audience that you prioritize your physical and mental health. It can also help you feel more confident and comfortable in public.

Once you’re done addressing your personal hygiene, it’s time to start brainstorming outfit ideas.

Approach Colors, Patterns, and Textures with Caution

You don’t have to stick with neutral colors or shy away from patterns and textures when dressing for your appearance. However, you do want to be conscious of colors, patterns, and textures when figuring out what to wear.

Using various colors, patterns, and textures in one outfit can be a disaster if you aren’t sure how to piece them together. With that being said, if you’re confident in your ability to put together a cohesive look, go for it.

You could make things a bit easier by choosing two or three colors for the entire outfit. Then no matter what patterns or textures you choose, they must be one of those colors. This way, there’s a better chance of everything in your outfit looking like it belongs together.

Another tip for dressing for your PR media appearance is to take a minimalist approach to accessories.

Less is More When it Comes to Accessories

You don’t need to wear every piece of jewelry you own, have the flashiest purse or briefcase, or most stylish shoes. Instead, approach accessories with a “less is more” mindset.

The accessories you choose should complement your outfit, not overpower it.

Also, don’t completely stifle your personality when choosing something to wear for your media appearance.

Don’t Completely Stifle Your Personality

Don’t disregard personality completely when dressing for your PR media appearance.

Even if you can’t go all out, your outfit should still be reflective of you somehow. For instance, let’s say you love outspoken fashion, but your audience will consist mainly of corporate businessmen and women. In that case, you could highlight unique accessories while wearing a simple suit so that you’re in line with your audience.

Now, it’s time to pull a few outfit ideas.

Try Things on and Experiment

Once you’ve got a few ideas in mind, start pulling pieces from your closet and creating outfit combinations.

Have fun trying on different outfits and experimenting with various pieces. For instance, you could put together an outfit inspired by a bold, subtle, and neutral color palette. Then, see how each of them looks on you and think about which would be most appropriate based on the audience you researched earlier.

Furthermore, as you try things on and experiment, be sure to get some feedback from people you work with, friends, and family on their most and least favorite outfits.

Welcome Feedback from Family, Friends and Colleagues

Whether you’re in tune with your personal style or struggle with putting an outfit together, it’s a good idea to get feedback from others about how different outfits look.

Communicate to family, friends, and colleagues what kind of look you’re going for and what you want people to feel when they see you. For instance, you can let them know you’re hoping for a professional yet fun outfit that screams you but still leaves the audience feeling like you mean business. When they offer their opinions, be careful not to get defensive. It’s easy to become defensive with family and friends when they’re offering construction criticism, especially on your appearance. But you have asked for this feedback, so be aware when you might shut down or point fingers back at someone.

All in all, you can take how others feel about your outfit choices and what you think about them and use the insights to narrow down your options to the one most appropriate for your PR media appearance.

Conclusion

Dressing for your PR media appearance doesn’t have to be complicated. Research your audience first and gather inspiration from other PR professionals.

As you assemble your outfit for the day, approach colors, patterns, and textures with caution. You want your pieces to complement each other, not clash. You also want to have a minimalist approach to accessories.

Finally, don’t completely write off personality as you put together your attire. Be sure to try things on and get feedback from family, friends, and colleagues to ensure you’re dressing your best for your PR media appearance.

Image Source: Ginosphotos

Luke Smith is a writer, researcher turned blogger and a regular Culpwrit contributor. Since finishing college, he is trying his hand at being a freelance writer. He enjoys writing on a variety of topics, but PR and communications topics are his favorite. When he isn’t writing you can find him traveling, hiking, or gaming.

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