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Show Them Pearly Whites

Savvy entrepreneurs have publicity photos on hand. Here's how to be ready for your close-up.

This story appears in the June 2000 issue of Business Start-Ups magazine.

You've just won an award. You've just been invited to speak at a gathering of professionals. You've just been quoted in a newspaper article. In each of these cases, a photographer is sent to take your picture to accompany the written material. On the designated day, the harried photographer dashes in, snaps a few shots and flies off to his next assignment. The photo appears, and-well, Charles Manson's mug shot probably looked better. Your eyes are pouchy; a patch of hair is sticking up. And can you really be hatching a double chin?

Savvy entrepreneurs have a publicity photo on hand to submit on such spur-of-the-moment occasions, says Joan Stewart, publisher of The Publicity Hound, a Saukville, Wisconsin, newsletter devoted to marketing and public relations issues. "If you're going to seek a lot of media coverage or do a lot of marketing, it's imperative that you have a publicity photo," she advises. "I know that when a newspaper article runs about me, people always say 'I saw your picture in the paper.' If you leave it up to someone else to take your picture at the last minute and you're having a bad hair day, it's a lost opportunity."

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