Does Your Weight Impact Your Publicity Potential?

The Wall Street Journal had an article about how overweight doctors tend not to tell their obese patients to lose weight. There was no reason discovered, but the article says “it’s possible that subconsciously, obese physicians may look at a patient and think ‘they look like me, but I’m healthy’ and focus on more acute problems rather than their extra pounds.”

As someone who’s gone from 250 to 185 to 200, I certainly have been at every extreme of weight gain and loss, and I’m certainly not at my ideal weight now. I don’t know what I’d tell a patient if I were a doctor, but it’s interesting that even doctors can’t face the facts of losing weight because they feel self-conscious about their own weight.

You might not have a weight issue that relates to your legal practice, but when you think about your own publicity, is there something in your backstory that hinders your PR success? Was there an issue with your license being suspended? Did you get some bad publicity after being sued for malpractice 20 years ago? If you’re going to launch into a new PR effort, you have to deal with the skeletons in your closet so that you can move forward. Your past actions don’t have to affect your future.

So when your past does come up, be prepared. You might have practiced in one area where something went wrong, such as real estate, but you currently do something else. However, someone might dig up something from your previous practice and ask you questions about it. You might get asked about one charge that wasn’t dropped against you, even though nine others were. So think about those past mistakes, and come up with a way to talk about them. Otherwise, the media will think you’re trying to hide something.