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23: Marketing

A Thousand Things to Talk About
23: Marketing
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selfpromo
Today, we’re talking about marketing.

Specifically, is self-promotion unseemly?

Show notes and links:
An Academic Woman’s Rant of the Week: Self-Promotion (Duck of Minerva)


Full episode text

For several years, I worked in marketing at a law school. One of the most interesting things I ran into in that particular job was the lingering belief that marketing and proactive communications were somehow rude or unseemly.

This was a holdover from the long standing ban on advertising in the legal profession. Lawyers were banned from advertising of almost any sort up until the 1970s. Even after the ban was lifted, many lawyers considered advertising to be in bad taste.

Today, this kind of belief can still be seen in how uncomfortable it is for many people to “market themselves”. There is a significant gender gap in self promotion as well. Several studies have found that women tend to engage in much less self promotion than men, especially in the workplace. This may have a hand in the gender pay gap, as well.

In an information economy, where reputation, citation, and visibility are essential for a strong economic life yet in many situations, for many people, self promotion feels awkward. Do you consider it awkward or unseemly in your own experience?