Personality profiles divert from other news stories in that they convey an intimate insight about a person. They are more flexible in structure and can be longer to achieve that depth and include all relevant information.
Given the right information and good quotes, a personality profile can be the most interesting biographic piece of whoever is written about.
But what key points are needed to achieve writing a good personality profile? Here a present some.
- Research your subject
- Although it may sound obvious, it is important to know about the person you are writing about. Not only does it indicate professionalism, but its a sign of respect for the person, as nobody would like for a journalists to come to an interview without a clue of who they are or what they have achieved.
- Set up an interview:
- Because personality profiles tend to require more information gathering, it is imperative to prepare ahead of time and schedule an interview with anticipation. If your source is a very busy person, try to accommodate to their schedule, but do it with time to make sure both of you will have enough time to have a lengthy talk.
- Prepare your questions:
- This can go along with the first step, since questions may arise from some background information you may gather about your subject. However, do not be afraid to ask questions as the interview unfolds, you may end up with great information from an unexpected subject.
- Meet with source and conduct interview:
- The make it or break it in any story is the interview itself. Try to relax when interviewing your source and remain professional throughout. Rely in recordings for accuracy and verification but also take notes on important points that come in the interview.
- Interview other sources close to your personality:
- This is necessary to give a more human tone to the story, by including quotes and anecdotes from people close the personality, you get a more intimate tone to the story.
- Edit, edit, edit:
- It is so easy to finish a story and think its the best. But editing even your best work never hurts. You must triple-check, if necessary, for correct spelling of names and places and even more, titles of people. Nothing hurts a journalist the most than a name misspelled or a wrong fact. If anything, editing can help to see mistakes that are difficult to catch at first, but that can take the value of the story. Likewise, editing can be helpful in arranging the story to flow better and even detect missing information.
Personality profiles are easy to write with the right elements but can also be a hassle for the amounts of sources needed. But if you put your effort into it, your story will produce a piece that can be enjoyed by many.