The Hunchback of PR
Many of you have heard that I am leaving Microsoft after 8 wonderful years and beginning a new adventure at Edelman Digital. Edelman is the biggest (and most kick-ass) private public relations agency in the world. There are 52 offices around the world and it was named Agency of the Decade by Adweek. The Digital teams (40 locations — need to start plotting now how to finagle visits to the Paris, Sao Paulo and Singapore offices) are basically the new hotness of what is already pretty damn hot, and I am beyond excited to join them.
There will be some adjustments. In 8 years at Big Bill’s Ranch I never paid for health care. Not a dime. Not even a copay on a prescription. Dealing with normal insurance will be a tough change. Also, I will be commuting from Redmond to Seattle each day; losing hours of family time. I am planning to use that time to have a torrid affair with my Kindle, iPod, and DS. It will take some time to acclimate, but change is good. I consider making co-pays and riding the bus to be a totally worthwhile tradeoff for happiness, enthusiasm and new horizons.
So here’s what’s nagging at me in the wee small hours of the morning. PR is full of pretty people. I’m not talking “Microsoft Hot”, where the bar is unreasonably low, but actual real-world attractiveness. Think about it from a business perspective: all studies show that people are more inclined to listen to, be influenced by, and purchase from attractive folks. So if you hired a PR firm to pimp your business you’d hire pretty people, right? My soon-to-be colleagues at Edelman are all good-looking. Every single one. Every day. It’s not just a matter of being well-groomed and dressed. They have symmetrical features and shiny hair. Flawless skin, bright eyes and low body fat.
And I’m well… Microsoft Hot. Or at least I was before this last baby.
So, while I’m thrilled that they have chosen me to join their ranks, I am slightly curious. Do my years of experience with one of their major clients outweigh my meh face and out of shape bod? Are they planning on keeping me in the bell tower where no one can see my frizzy hair? Worse yet, are they going to strip me down on my first day and Sharpie my areas of improvement like a sorority nightmare?!
I guess we’ll find out at the end of the month when Quasi leaves the cathedral and walks into the sunlight for the first time in 8 years.