Do clothes really make the man????
In what some might term a fairly large and stupid PR move, Google co-founder Sergey Brin donned jeans, silver sneakers, and a basic black t-shirt (in Texas, we term those Johnny Cash black shirts) and then marched to Congress.
Later after failing to meet and hobnob with as many Senators as one would hope a spontaneous, carefree-traveling, jean-laden, t-shirt wearing, billionaire might, he was quoted by The Washington Post and other publications as saying, “It wasn’t very well organized. I apologize. It was a last minute trip.”
Hmm. Last minute… Ok. Good idea. No way.
Let this serve as a good lesson to all of you, who I have full faith and confidence will someday be leading the market arena you’re in!
It’s no longer a viable or good PR exercise to watch “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” (Mr. Smith had sense enough to wear a suit, while Sergey did not) and think that you’re going to find favor in Washington. Remember one of the keys to powerful public relations is to know your audience.
Don’t ever naively believe that just by showing up on a private jet you will get your message to your targeted audience, let alone succeed in getting your lawmakers to take time out to listen.
They’re busy running the country. Respect them and their stature and they will begin to respect you.
And Sergey, if you’re “bound and determined” (as my Granny used to say) to wear sneakers to meet some of the most powerful leaders in the nation, then at least go all out and don a shiny and sassy Google-logoed jogging suit and meet them on the Capitol track at 6am in the morning where the apparel would be more appropriate.
For the rest of us, the next time you’re invited to speak at a business gathering or Chamber of Commerce event, in terms of good vs. bad PR, the clothes really do make the man or woman!
For the full story on the sneaker debaucle titled, “Google guy stumbles in D.C.” in MarketWatch by Frank Barnako, hit the below link:
Look for my post tomorrow on how to use your utensils powerfully while brunching with Senators.