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6287RE: [PRQuorum] RE: [prbytes] Re: [PRMindshare] Tattoos and the military - a PR-driven move ...

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  • Ned Barnett
    Jul 15, 2014
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      I think there is a huge world of difference between the way someone was born, and the visual-image they choose to create. If someone is discriminated against because of how they were born, that’s no different than discriminating against someone who was born with a minority genetic background.

      However, if someone chooses to disfigure themselves with tattoos or body piercings, that’s a choice – and it’s no different than the choice to “dress down” for a job interview. It makes a bad impression, which is a legitimate business concern.

      For example, I was partner at an agency where the graphics/creative crew tended to have piercings and tattoos – we hired them, but then kept them locked away on the 3rd floor when clients came calling, because we didn’t want to present that image to clients or prospects. We employed them based on their skills, but we hid them away based on their personal choices about body decoration.

      I think we can go too far with PC “isms” – and in this case, “look-ism” if based on personal choices is not a problem, but the right and responsibility of the employer, who has a fiduciary responsibility to protect investors’ assets by creating and presenting an image to the public that will enhance business. To me, this is no different than a corporation choosing to only assign someone who was born in the US (and therefore American-English fluent) in customer contact roles such as phone intake, drive-through, etc. Those employees who can’t speak English well enough for the average American to be able to understand them can and should be hired, but not in the narrow realm of customer contact.

      By the same token, if you choose to disfigure yourself, don’t expect to be in any client-contact role – that’s not discrimination … it’s common sense.

      But of course, none of that applies to the Army. In the Army, “client contact” roles tend to terminate the “client” with extreme prejudice, just as in that SEALS movie that triggered this thread. How the shooters on the pointed end of the stick matters far less than their ability to shoot straight when the job requires it of them.

      All My Best


      Ned Barnett, APR

      Marketing & PR Fellow, American Hospital Association

      Barnett Marketing Communications

      420 N. Nellis Blvd., A3-276 - Las Vegas NV 89110

      702-561-1167 - cell/text

      www.barnettmarcom.com <http://www.barnettmarcom.com/> - twitter @nedbarnett


      05-6-16 BMC Logo

      From: prbytes@yahoogroups.com [mailto:prbytes@yahoogroups.com]
      Sent: Tuesday, July 15, 2014 10:29 AM
      To: prbytes@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: RE: [PRQuorum] RE: [prbytes] Re: [PRMindshare] Tattoos and the military - a PR-driven move ...

      There is plenty of precedent for employers refusing to accept job candidates based on visible tattoos. I don't know if it is fair or legal to hold the U.S. military to a different standard than, say, an airline that won't hire people with tattoos on their arms or legs as flight attendants.

      I understand companies and organizations wanting to present a particular image. Having said that, I find it somewhat distasteful that employers can engage in "lookism" like this. It does not mesh with my concept of a so-called free society. So in the sense of reputation, it seems like either nobody should be allowed to discriminate on the basis of bodily modification, or everyone should be allowed to discriminate, including the military.

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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