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Words in Motion 
Writing in service to your voice

August 2009
Writing Profiles with Punch

The secret of a profile with punch is that it tells a story. Let's face it, people love good stories, and a profile will tell the tale of how your new surgeon, or executive director, made the choice to join you, or why they have stayed so long.

Profiles with punch can do at least three things for your newsletter:
  1. Remind readers that you are a lively, human organization behind all that copy.
  2. Convey your team's valuable expertise.
  3. Develop a connection that endures.
So, how to write a profile with punch?
  • Keep information about your subject's training and experience simple. If you are on line, provide a link to a resume. Or, use a side bar.
  • Don't just work from the resume. Try to speak with the individual directly. Listen for the quote that sings.
  • Use direct quotes. Don't turn personal statements into generic phrasing.
  • Tell what your subject's outside interests are-this is a great way to convey their humanity, whether they like surfing in Australia or growing tomatoes on the patio.
  • Consider a Q&A format. The exchange between writer and subject can make for interesting reading.
Sample profile
The Amusing Internet

New words. Amusing links. Playful toying with language--all brought to us by the Internet. Consider:                      
  • Mozilla's Firefox is a mythic creature that browses.
  • Bluetooth is a wireless tool, not a challenge for your dentist.
  • Yahoo used to be merely a rodeo shout.
  • Monster is a word associated with finding a new job.
  • Windows and mice are not what they used to be.
It's all a form of play, even as used for the most serious of subjects--play in the links and graphics and music and video. When marketing to your clients or your members, try a little of that playfulness--not as a way to be funny but as a way to engage the reader in the work that you do or the services you provide.

See you in September.

jane signaturemouse

In This Issue
Writing Profiles with Punch
The Amusing Internet
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