Who is Behind Your Business?

Who is Behind Your Business?

Subject Line: Who is Behind Your Business?

The Write Market Release
Vol. 3. Issue 9
Who is Behind Your Business?

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CONTENTS IN THIS ISSUE

1. Editor’s Remarks
2. How to Build an Online Press Center- Part IV:
The people behind the business.
3. What’s New at The Write Market
4. Get Your Ad in TWM’s Release!
5. Administrative Information

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EDITOR’S REMARKS

Happy New Year!

You won’t even believe where I spent the last seven days. I was in Buffalo, NY. If you haven’t heard the news, they were dumped on with over 7 feet of snow in a four day stretch. Driving down the streets was like driving through a tunnel of snow. They finally lifted the driving ban on Sunday so that everyone could go to church. The roads were clear, by then, the only danger was trying to pull out into traffic from side roads – the banks of snow were about 15 feet high.

I’ve been in Buffalo during three major snow storms: 1985, 1995, and now in 2001. I’ll never forget what the Mayor of Buffalo, Jimmy Griffin said to us back in 1985, “Go down to your local convenience store, pick up a six pack and just wait it out.” Griffin is no longer mayor of Buffalo, but he had this to say last week, “This is definitely a two six pack storm.”

You have to hand it to those Buffalonians – the hardier the individual, the more likely he will find his way to beer! I lived in Buffalo for 12 years, I have to say that those people really pull together in a time of crisis. They are proud of their weather, their sports teams, and the fact that their bars stay open until 4:00 a.m. It is the kind of town where you never feel lonely because everyone is in the same boat – there’s lots of snow, the wind-chill factor is around 20 below, and I have to admit, it really is peaceful and beautiful after a snow storm.

Well, I’m back in dry, green, warm Pennsylvania and I’m none the worse for wear. Although I feel like I’m a displaced Buffalonian, I don’t feel too bad because I don’t have to wade through snow that is up to my armpits!

I have some fabulous news. Terry and I have completed our second book, “Web Content that Sells: Copy and Graphics,” (or something like that). I hate writing titles, so we haven’t quite narrowed down a good title, yet. Tentatively, the book will be available for purchase on February 1, 2002.

This month, we continue our tutorial on How to Build an Online Press Center with an article on The People Behind the Business. I have taken an excerpt from our new book that just happens to talk about this part of the Press Center.

I am still looking for more examples of Press Centers or About Us pages to feature in our tutorial. So, if you have an Online Press Center or an About Us page, or you’ve seen a good one, please send me the URL. Thanks!

Write on,
Renee Kennedy
rkennedy@thewritemarket.com

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ELEMENTS OF A PRESS CENTER

(This is a quick review to show you where we’re at and where we’re going.)

1. Table of Contents
2. Backgrounder
3. History
4. The People Behind Your Business **We’re HERE **
5. Projects, Clients, Partners and/or Works
6. Testimonials
7. Press Releases
8. Sample News Story
9. Articles by Other Sources
10. Contact Information

For more details on the elements of your Press Center see: http://www.thewritemarket.com/press/

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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.

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