Rule no. 1 in PR: Know the sex of your client

Posted on 10 Aug 2009 at 3:52pm

This rule might sound self-evident, or even nonsensical, but this is why it’s important: Press releases contain pronouns. It would be nice if they matched the gender of the person you were referring to.

We recently received a release about s hairdresser with a unisex name (I’ll leave off the real name to protect the guilty — let’s just say it’s “Pat”). The release goes on to extol “his” great designs, and suggest we might want to interview “him.” One of our editors replied, “If [Pat] is gay, bi or trans, we’d be happy to consider an interview.” Then came the response from the publicist: “I just found out that [Pat] is a female, not a male, and not gay, bisexual or trans.”

If I were Pat, I might ask for a refund.

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