Benefits and Risks of a ‘Profile Piece’ About You

Should you try to push the opportunity for a profile-raising article about yourself, or the leader of your organisation, in a trade publication or magazine? This could be a personality piece, or a business feature about your organisation as a success story (or one under threat), or a ‘CEO interview’ which can position you as a leader in your field, focusing on trends in the sector and where things are going in the industry. These can often be long-form interviews, an hour or two face-to-face rather than a fifteen-minute phone conversation. A great opportunity to set the agenda and position yourself or the boss as forward-thinking, an authoritative leader in your field. There are risks, though. You need to put more preparation and thought into this kind of interview, as there is time to go into things in more depth, potentially exposing weakness or getting on to topics you don’t want to discuss, such as future product plans, your views on what the competition is up to, and so on. You can also find yourself being asked personal questions about your hobbies and outside interests, and family life. You have to decide whether you are willing to be drawn on such matters; if you clam up that can be seen as very defensive. This type of interview can be a great, high-profile opportunity. However if you do not hit it off with the reporter, you may be painted in an unflattering light in the finished article. Prepare carefully what you want to say! (Taken from the book The M-Factor by Tom Maddocks.)