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Topic: Copywriting

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Great Bios

Posted by jaime on 500 Points
I think writing a good bio is hard. I need to change things up and move us away from the standard corporate speak and add some new life to our staff profiles.

Would anyone be willing to share some fun and different bio examples with me to get my creative juices going?

Any tips for writing an engaging, yet still informative bio?

  • Posted by melissa.paulik on Member
    Jaime,

    I don't have any samples but you may want to go look at LinkedIn profiles. There are some horrible bios in there, but there are some really good creative ones as well. Ones I certainly wish I had written! This may stir up some of your own creative juices.

    All the best!

    Melissa
  • Posted by jenglish on Accepted
    If you want to see exciting and creative bios check out "Brains on Fire" as they have nailed it in my opinion.

    http://brainsonfire.com/FIRE/ (click on the "people" link at the top)

    : ) Jill

    PS: I don't work for Brains on Fire. I was doing research a few years ago looking for an identity firm, I found them and never forgot how they handled their bio's. Even the dog gets one- got to love it!

  • Posted by Frank Hurtte on Member
    Here is a quick suggestion...


    Why not do a video bio...
    Here is mine
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IEVZvxCbYvc&feature=related
  • Posted by Jaime Collins on Member
    I responded because I like your name.

    Ok... I do have a thought on bios, too. Mostly, that they're all boring. Few (exceptions noted above) ever take the time to consider the audience as cpappas suggests. Good creative--bios nothwithstanding--is derived from knowledge of what your target needs and desires. That drives your primary considerations in writing bios-- form, content, and tone.

    My suggestion is dive into your audience and write a good brief. That never fails to inspire originality that's on message.

    Best,
    Jaime Collins
  • Posted by powerwriter on Member
    I've written hundreds of bios and, in truth, there are no rules. Different companies have different styles of writing and you have to keep in line with that style.

    Some companies, for example, are formal. They use Mr. and Mrs. and all that. The bio is very formal. It gives the basics but not much more.

    Others use first names and get into more personal information such as hobbies.

    I don't know if you need a bio for a company Web site or a social networking site. If it's the latter, you should be able to be as free as you wish.

    But "never" put anything in a bio that may be taken the wrong way or used against you later. Do be honest in your bio.
  • Posted by Corpcommer on Member
    Hi, Jaime --

    As someone who has written hundreds of publicity bios for corporate execs in a financial services conglomerate, I agree with my colleagues that there aren't any hard and fast rules. You must know who the target markets are and use your judgement based on the media that the bio will appear in (a shareholder report? newspaper? charity event website?).

    FYI, when I served as the company's official bio writer, in person meetings and phone interviews weren't always possible -- expecially when the execs were in another country. I created a form that had questions about the person's background, education and professional experience so the exec could fill it out at leisure. They only gave info they were comfortable sharing, and I'd usually draft a bio based on that plus any conversations. It was typically their recreational and volunteer activities that pointed to their interesting aspects.

    If you can, speak to the staff. Get to know them and you'll come up with the tidbits to use to add new life to your profiles.

    Hope this helps.

    Good luck.

    Corpcommer - MC

  • Posted by Kevin McIntosh on Member
    I've written several bios. You can do that dry humor approach, and show you have some personality. It might go over some of your clients' heads, but then showing a sense of humor usually creates a feeling of trust. If you want to be more conservative, you might try writing them like a magazine interview, complete with some quotes. Not just a straight forward question-answer-question-answer format, but again, like sa a Rolling Stone interview. I've done that for clients and even in annual reports and it seems to play well even with conservative brands.

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