By Nancy Raiden Titus
Journal Record Staff Reporter
Pam Hilliard wants to help everyone in your company look the
part of a professional.
"Business is so competitive, and image is very important.
Companies spend a lot of money on PR _ especially banks and
savings and loans which are service-oriented. If the customer
sees one or two people who don't meet that image, it makes an
Employees who have a professional appearance exude confidence
to customers, which in turn makes them more comfortable
transacting their business. Employees that don't fit that image
can hurt the company.
Hilliard, through Professional Images, conducts seminars in
the workplace designed to help employees increase their
appearance consciousness for the benefit of the company. The
seminars can be done during the day, at lunch or after hours.
"If one person is dressing in blue jeans and a gunky shirt,
you can't send her home for that. Not every business needs its
employees to wear suits. But the point is there is a level of
professionalism at every office that needs to be addressed. This
is a better way than firing off memos to cover every problem. It
is a benefit for management to address it to the employee in the
form of a perk versus doing it in a legalistic way."
Hilliard, who also is a Mary Kay consultant, does not charge
for the seminars though she does encourage companies to buy gift
certificates for employees and items to be used as door prizes.
Mary Kay products are used in makeovers done during the
seminars, but other than that no mention is made of the cosmetics
company during the presentation.
"Obviously I am looking to contact women on their own and give
them more professional consulting. I have found that if
management gets the results they want, they really don't care."
Each presentation is tailored to the needs of the particular
business. Hilliard talks with someone in the personnel department
prior to the seminar to find out the particular appearance
problems the company is experiencing. Problems she has had
described range from employees who wear too much makeup or gaudy
jewelry to those who wear their clothes too tight.
"The seminar meets their criteria, so that they get something
out of it. The employees get the perk of letting them do
something fun on their lunch hour. I show them things they can
One of her most popular presentations is a "head to toe"
seminar that covers hair, skin care, makeup, wardrobe, hand care
and shoe care. The longer version includes a 45-minute slide
presentation on choosing clothes that compliment the body shape.
"Women need to know that they can dress sporty, romantic or
tailored and still look professional. The 45-minute slide
presentation covers all that."
The extent of the makeover of audience members is determined
by the amount of time allotted. Short presentations have only
mini-makeovers with hand and nail care; others feature complete
Hilliard said getting makeover volunteers is generally not a
problem. More often she gets more volunteers than she can handle.
In some cases managers have even encouraged particular employees
to volunteer. The positive reinforcement given from the others
attending often encourages a behavior change.
"Management is noticing a dramatic change over 30 to 60
The seminars can be helpful for everyone in the company. …