Why Headshots Are A Must For Public Figures And Executives

Written by Brad Phillips @MrMediaTraining on July 13, 2017 – 10:06 AM

Rob Goldstone, a former tabloid reporter turned music publicist, has suddenly found himself in the middle of President Trump’s Russia scandal.

Goldstone helped broker a key meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer during the campaign, the details of which came to light this week. Unsurprisingly, Goldstone is now the subject of media scrutiny, as he was last night on MSNBC’s All In with Chris Hayes.

The photo selection of Goldstone used in MSNBC’s graphic caught my eye. It’s a spectacularly unflattering photo—and while one could dismiss their choice solely as liberal bias, the photos of the other two men are far more flattering.

So while the photo selection was cruel—and probably gratuitously so—I wondered whether there might be more at play here.

Bad Goldstone Photo MSNBC3

To see what other images were publicly available, I visited Goldstone’s business website—Oui 2 Entertainment. While he has a complete bio there, he does not have a headshot.

Even if it MSNBC had wanted to, they would have been unable to select a more flattering headshot from Goldstone’s own digital property.

Oui 2 Entertainment Goldstone

I then conducted a Google image search—and while better photos of Mr. Goldstone turn up there, nothing looks particularly professional. The bottom line? MSNBC used an unkind shot—but Goldstone didn’t make it easy for them to find a better one.

To be clear, this post is not intended to be a commentary on Mr. Goldstone’s personal appearance. I have no doubt that a shoot with a professional photographer would yield photos that he would be far happier to see splashed across the cable newscasts.

Google Goldstone Image Search

It’s unlikely (I hope!) that you or your management team will end up immersed in an international political scandal.

But ask yourself this question: When news breaks involving your company, organization, or agency and a local television station needs to put a photo of the person involved on the air, will they be able to find a headshot that represents them and your firm well?

If your public utility has a water main break and you release a statement from an executive, what photo will the news outlet choose to accompany your quote? If an employee sues your company for alleged discrimination, what photo of you will they choose to run? If you’re injured in an accident, what shot of you will they flash upon the screen?

If you don’t have professional headshots but could end up in the public eye, schedule a shoot today. And if you do have one but haven’t posted it publicly, upload it today. There’s simply no reason to compound an already tough news story by having it appear next to an unflattering photograph.

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