by David Tandet
Got a call from a colleague recently who had a big problem. As in big bio. My friend was willing to put in all the information the executive wanted, of course. But she wanted to make sure her client realized most readers were going to stop reading after the first paragraph.
It’s understandable that individuals want to shine when the story is about them. But unless what they’re selling is themselves, is that the real story?
Think about the old features versus benefits principle. Inventors of a new piece of hardware may be in love with the nanotechnology that’s involved. Consumers want to know how much more convenient being able to put the device in their lapel pin makes it.
Well is a bio any different? As nice as the personal aspect makes things, the most effective corporate bio is the one that connects the individual to his or her corporate mission.
It might be relevant and interesting that the CEO of a dessert maker remembers the first time she baked a cake. Cake baking is probably less relevant to bring up when the bio is about an aerospace engineer. Being educated at Cal Tech is more on track.
In other words, think of a corporate bio in the same way you’d think of a resume. Provide the most significant information that indicates why you, as an individual, are the right person to run with the ball in your current position on the team you’re with.
And when the individual is what’s being touted, such as on a campaign website, it can be even more crucial to be certain most of the information on the bio page connects the candidate to the mission. So that first memory of baking a cake? Don’t neglect the important lesson learned about being patient but acting quickly when the time is right.
Then add a wisp of human interest frosting for good measure.
You’ll have a concise, relevant, compelling corporate bio.