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Profiles are utilized for writing public news releases when a leader wins an award, retires, does something extraordinary, donates a large sum of money or dies. A profile also is beneficial for organizing information, writing newsletters and seeking work. Writing a profile of a leader means knowing the details about the individual and putting the information together to affect those reading the information.
Narrow the focus, and decide the reason for the profile. A work profile emphasizes work experience, expertise and credentials in the field. If the profile deals with a particular company and not general work experience, the profile focuses on what the leaders does and has done to enhance the image of the company or organization. A profile for someone who is retiring or dead would add more personal information about background, education and family.
Add only as much background as needed to a leader profile. If the individual profiled has lived and worked in the same location for many years, note that the leader grew up in the area and became a leader within the community. For a newspaper profile, add the name of parents. If some incident in the person’s background was instrumental in the positive direction of leadership, summarize it. For a profile, personal background information should be kept to a minimum and employed only to enhance the overall focus of the profile.
Include credentials. This includes education and certifications. Include specialized training if it enhances the profile. Experience also is an important element of writing a profile of a leader. Explain how work experiences led to the leader’s present work situation. List areas of expertise. For example, if the leader works with a charity nonprofit, show how working as a volunteer early on led to a desire to choose charity work for a career.
Include quotes from others with whom the leader works that reveal who the person is as a boss, employee and as a person of integrity and concern for others. Integrate quotes into the profile, choosing only those that enhance the focus of what you write. For a news article, also consider quotes from family, former employers and others who interact with the leader both personally and professionally.
Format what you write to suit the purpose of the leader profile. Use a basic business style with lots of white space around text. If delivering the profile on paper to a newspaper, double space text with one space between paragraphs. Provide a heading with your name or name of the organization for which you write, an address, and, if writing for an organization, the name, number and email information of the person to contact for further information or clarification. A profile to be read at a retirement party might be written as a business letter. Profiles delivered in the body of an email use single spacing within paragraphs, and double spacing between paragraphs.
Carolyn Scheidies has been writing professionally since 1994. She writes a column for the “Kearney Hub” and her latest book is “From the Ashes.” She holds a Bachelor of Science in journalism from the University of Nebraska at Kearney, where she has also lectured in the media department.