Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Did Ian Halperin Get a Makeover?

I've seen Ian Halperin, author of the timely Michael Jackson book, Unmasked: The Final Years of Michael Jackson, interviewed on TV many times since Jackson's death. Unfortunately, I've been so distracted by his cartoonish appearance -- big sunglasses with bright white frames and a white or brightly colored tie contrasting against a black shirt and jacket -- that I don't remember a thing about what he has said about the King of Pop.

I was surprised, then, to see the result of an obvious transformation on TV this morning. With his "mod" look replaced by a white shirt and typical businessman's tie, Halperin appears less like an eccentric who probably can't be trusted and more like a credible source of information about the Michael Jackson secrets that so many people seem to be interested in. I suspect that his publisher stepped in to give him a more ... how you say ... appropriate ... image now that his book is available and he's on his scheduled book tour.

It's yet another reminder that appearance matters, especially with television. We judge people by their covers, so make sure your cover communicates the correct information. If you want to be seen as a credible source of information, don't dress like a clown. If your topic is sober and serious, dress appropriately. If it's lighthearted and fun, lose the business suit. Most importantly, remember that you are not the news -- your content is the news. Whether you're promoting a book, a different type of product, or your business, keep the focus on the information you're sharing, not on what you look like when you're sharing it. It will help us remember and act on the information you've offered.

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