Wikipedia:Who is a low-profile individual

What (or who) is a low-profile individual? The term (and non-public figure in previous revisions) is used in Wikipedia:Biographies of living persons#Subjects notable only for one event (WP:BLP1E), and often misapplied in deletion discussions. A low-profile individual is someone who has been covered in reliable sources without seeking such attention, often as part of their connection with a single event. Persons who actively seek out media attention are not low-profile, regardless of whether or not they are notable.

Characteristics of high- versus low-profile figuresEdit

Media attentionEdit

High-profile: Has given one or more scheduled interviews to a notable publication, website, or television or radio program, as a "media personality" (a.k.a. "public face" or "big name"), a self-described "expert", or some other ostensibly (or would-be) notable commentator. Need not be a "household name", simply self-promotional. May ostensibly represent an employer or other group, but is clearly self-representing as well.
Low-profile: May have appeared on or been featured on such a show without their consent – e.g. "ambush journalism". May have been quoted or even profiled in a local or special-interest newspaper, website, magazine or other publication. May have been interviewed by a major news source as a "mouthpiece" – i.e., as part of his/her job as a spokesperson for an employer, representing that party not him/herself.

Promotional activitiesEdit

High-profile: Has voluntarily participated in self-publicity activities, such as press conferences, promotional appearances, book signings, and the like; and/or has participated in an attention-seeking manner in publicity for some other concern, such as a cause, election campaign or commercial endorsee.
Low-profile: Has not participated in such activities. May have engaged in some major media/press activity or public speaking as a simple, non-self-promotional spokesperson employee for a company/organization. Might engage in local boosterism, e.g. about a municipal issue.

Appearances and performancesEdit

High-profile: Has appeared as a featured performer or speaker for a publicly advertised event at which admission was collected and/or which garnered significant independent, non-local coverage. May have produced publications (books, DVDs, etc.) or events that at least in part are designed (successfully or not) to self-promote and to attract favorable public attention.
Low-profile: Has appeared as a featured performer or speaker for a limited group, such as a professional or religious organization, or a local sporting, fundraising or activism event. May have fulfilled non-self-promotional functions based on experience or special knowledge, such as being an expert witness in a legal case. May have authored non-self-promotional publications, such as books or refereed journal articles on scientific, technical, historical, etc., topics.


High-profile: Has sought or holds a position of preeminence, power or authority in a field of research, a sport, a business market, a political sphere or other area of human endeavor, usually at more than a locally-significant level. Such a position does not necessarily convey notability, but is evidence of projection of self identity into the public consciousness.
Low-profile: Does not use occupational or other position(s) for public projection of self-worth (above the level normally expected within the field in question – academia, like business and politics, can be quite competitive). Such a person may be notable anyway yet still low-profile (e.g., if generally acknowledged to be a preeminent authority in a particular field, or a CEO of a notable but not market-dominant company, etc., but not particularly self-promotional).

Behavior pattern and activity levelEdit

High-profile: As of the writing (or review/editing) of the article (or as of the article subject's death) is (or was) engaged in high-profile activity, as described above, with or without a lifelong history of such activities. Or was engaged in high-profile activity as a lifelong endeavor, but is now (or at the end was) attempting to be low-profile. Typically notable or would-be notable for roles of various levels of importance in more than a single major event, or for a major role in one major event.
Low-profile: Has always avoided high-profile activity. Or may have attempted to maintain a high profile unsuccessfully in the past, or successfully for a limited time (and may be notable as a result of either), but has demonstrated a consistent pattern of low-profile activity since then. Often allegedly notable only for a minor role in one major event, or for a recurring major role in a series of minor events.

Profile change over timeEdit

High- and low-profile status can change over time. For example, Cait O'Riordan was high-profile as a member of The Pogues, a popular band; low-profile during a period of working behind the scenes in the music industry for many years; and now arguably high-profile again, having become a touring musician (i.e. a "public face") once more.