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Feb-18-2014 00:19printcomments

Catapult: Crafting a Personality Profile

Where possible, humility can be woven in with inspiration.

Human catapult
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(SALEM) - This is essentially a How-to Article for adding spice to newspapers and newsletters. At the same time, it encourages building self-esteem among staff and the readership.

Having written personality profiles for well over a quarter-century, I felt it was time to put down in writing my successful "secret formula". Questions should be conveyed casually. Confrontation will backfire. We want our subject to come across as a role model others can respect and admire.

1. CREATE THE SETTING: Take a vivid look at the birthplace and its influence on how values were formed back then. Let that be our springboard.

2. FAMILY IMPACT: Did parents or siblings induce your subject toward the final career chosen? Did an absentee parent play an instrumental role?

3. SCHOOLS AS SUBTEXT: Sometimes favorite teachers or classes leave an imprint.

What might we find here? Let's follow those dots...backwards.

4. WORKPLACE FOOTNOTES: Jobs along the way can shape character. Some may be especially significant. What milestones still resound today?

5. CHALLENGES OVERCOME: Success stories get more credible when setbacks are surmounted. Illustrate some examples. Connect past to the present.

It's extra helpful to sprinkle in some lively quotes. Where possible, humility can be woven in with inspiration. Plans for the future are usually welcomed by readers.

And a touch of irony or humor needn't be ignored. Let's leave the readers feeling their hunger for getting-to-know-you info has been satiated...and then some.

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NOTE: Lee Coyne was assigned doing a profile on NY State Atty. General Louis J. Lefkowitz as a cub reporter back in the mid-60's, and later on did feature profiles for the DC a chapter newsletter of the National Assn. of Social Workers. He calls terms this as "a journalist's Pandora's Box".

B. Lee Coyne, a NYC native, blends three careers: Journalist, Counselor, Educator. His writings have appeared in newspapers and magazines on the East and West Coasts and the Southwest. He loves the art of the interview and has covered such persons as Dr. King's 1963 "Dream" speech and Sen. William

Proxmire as an advocate for the environment. A global traveller to some 30 countries aboard, he speaks Spanish semi-fluently and very rudimentary Russian, Tagalog, German, Arabic and Hebrew.

Lee's legacy here in Salem includes launching the Salem Peace Mosaic at the YMCA and doing a radio talk show for KMUZ/88.5 FM. It airs Mondays and highlights lives of proactive, productive senior citizens. He invites you to contact him at: notcoy@netzero.net.

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