The People Behind the Business
There are two parts to this section of your Online Press Center: Pictures of your employees and their accompanying biographies.
Pictures of your employees will give credibility to your company Web site. A Web site has an ethereal quality. You want to give it a real-life quality. Pictures will help your visitors understand that there are real people behind the site.
The best type of picture are photos that show people in action, especially if you’re offering services. Show that you or your employees are happy, working, “real, live people.” However, a head shot is better than no pictures at all.
Beware of the strange things that can happen to your photos due to low resolutions. If you have pictures of women, I recommend that you have professional pictures taken and find a graphic designer to “doctor” your photos. Unless you can see a full body shot or the photos are enhanced, women have a tendency to look like men. I’ve seen it happen on many a poor woman’s picture. (Including my own.)
Terry and I were disappointed with our own pictures. For years, we didn’t have any photos of ourselves on our site. However, with the publication of our first book, I decided that we needed them back again. I went out and had my picture professionally taken and I suggested that Terry do the same. I thought, with the proper lighting and enough make up, we could both look decent. However, I was mistaken. My picture, in web format, looked absolutely dreadful. (At least, I felt that it did.)
Finally, Terry had the brilliant idea to select the best professional photos that we had and she would edit them for the web. (They edit photos all the time in magazines.) Terry did her graphic voodoo on both of our pictures and they both turned out better than anything else we’ve tried. Check it out for yourself: http://www.thewritemarket.com/media/us.htm
Also include a short biography of your employee’s working lives. There are several ways to write a biography, here are a few suggestions that would particularly suit a bio found on the Web:
1. Chronological Order: List a series of events which led to employee’s current position. (Use this tact if the person has had an exciting life and taken some large steps both prior to working in the company and during employment.) This is generally used with the president, chairman or owner of a company.
2. Story Time: Take the facts of a person’s life and make them interesting by weaving a story. Again, you would use this tactic for presidents and owners. I’ve seen this done successfully with Lee Iaccoca’s bio. However, he has lead an incredible life.
3. Exciting Accomplishments or Events: Highlight one or two accomplishments in a person’s life. This would be a good style for a company that wishes to list several employees. For the web, it is best to try for a concise and easy to read profile of each person. Pick a few exciting events and describe how they influenced the employees current position.
4. Hobbies: I’ve seen some bios choose to include one or two sentences about the employee’s outside hobbies or interests. I think this is a fantastic idea because it drives home the point that the employee is a real person with a real life.
One thing you don’t want to do is to go on and on and on with a boring litany of small accomplishments. Personally, I don’t think this does anything to increase credibility. A nice picture and a few well-chosen, brilliant accomplishments will keep your reader interested.