Inside Edge PR, `PR Secrets’ Workshop Receives Testimonial from Suze Solari

Testimonials are a great way to build your brand and build trust with your target market. Anyone can toot their own–it’s much more convincing when someone else does it for (and about) you.

Along with other pointers last month, the above message was part of what I conveyed to about 20 local business owners and other leaders last month at a “PR Secrets From a Media Insider” workshop sponsored by the Oak Park and River Forest Chamber of Commerce.

Of course, my preaching flowed from what I practice–and yesterday I put it into action once again. During a follow-up meeting with author and personal stylist Suze Solari, she graciously shared edifying remarks about the workshop.

Below is an excerpt:

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Biography Writing: The Art of Letting Others Toot Your Horn

I’m always amused when I see someone with hardly any credentials at all drone on about their illustrious lives with platitudes and white noise, while globally renowned figures like John Grisham keep their bios to 20 words.

Having written scads of bios over the past 20-plus years, and seen others’ work both stellar and abysmal, this Fast Company piece on biography writing is spot-on.

Here is one of the best lines from Jonathan Rick’s “The Art of Writing Your Own Bio: How to Toot Your Horn Without Sounding Like a Blowhard”:

“To be sure, the problem isn’t with boasting. It’s with who’s doing the boasting. Boasting is best when validated by a third party. Otherwise, you’re just another self-proclaimed guru in a field that’s long on salesmanship and short on specifics.”

Rick’s article has other very good insights about how to take distinctive approaches to bio writing, such as having colleagues help tell someone’s story.

In writing my own bio, I have sought a balance between professional, personal and off-beat (such as noting my once driving an Oscar Mayer Wienermobile as a reporter and my ambidextrous free-throw shooting zeal).

The random inclusions are not for their own sake, either: they help paint an accurate reflection of who I am, in all my off-the-wall reality.

That, too, is why my bio photo shows me dressed up as Super Shopper Spotter, with the caption, “It takes a courageous man (or at least a brazen PR guy) to wear red boots, mask and cape in front of a flower shop–or anywhere else for that matter.”

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