BE INSPIRED LIKE THE BEATLES
A quick tour of the Stone Junction offices will tell you we love to use historical figures to inspire us. There are quotes on the walls from Maya Angelou, Jeff Bezos, Salvador Dali, Albert Einstein, Mae Carol Jemison, Stephen Hawking, Martin Luther King, Elon Musk and even Winnie the Pooh. It is a fun way to break down complex ideas into simple concepts that we can apply in our work. In fact, I think there are four historical figures who can, between them, teach us everything we need to know about technical PR and marketing.
Be inspired, like The Beatles
To write about a technical subject in a way that is readable, entertaining, and simple you will need to be inspired daily, sometimes several times a day, and often on the same subject. You can see the problem.
You will need to be inspired about something that isn't all that inspiring on the face of it. Nuts and bolts, thermal gloves, computer memory or storage equipment. The truth is that all of these things are inspiring and essential enough for people to devote their lives to designing, making, selling and refining them, so there should be a kernel of brilliance there somewhere that will pique the interest of you and your reader. It is your job to find it.
If you are interested enough in the subject, you will be interesting when you write about it. But how do you find that precious grain of wonder on such a regular basis?
The answer can be found in the behaviour of artists like Bowie and the Beatles, people who reinvented themselves repeatedly, finding artistic and commercial success nearly every time. These musicians behaved like inventors, they looked constantly outward, searching for the disparate influences that they could bring together in their music to make something new.
That's exactly how invention normally works; someone who knows a little bit, or a lot, about subject A, becomes exposed to information about subject B — often by experiencing something outside of their normal pattern of behaviour, and the convergence of those two or more subjects inspires a new idea.
Often this happens by accident, but to make it happen regularly, all you have to do is take the coincidence out of the equation. Set out to experience things, instead of simply being present when they happen, and keep a record of them in a way that you can use in your writing.
At Stone Junction, we encourage all our writers to jerk a 'hook book', where they note down the things that pique their interest. That way, when they need motivation, they can look back on a list of things that have been inspired by and see which ones can come together with their subject in a way that replicates the process of invention.
You don't have to be experiencing great and majestic moments for his to work, you could be watching Netflix, reading a book, or researching nuts and bolts, thermal gloves, computer memory or storage equipment. The Beatles were sleeping in a van, touring Germany for a pittance, when they discovered the visual style that would converge with their musical direction to create something that would shape music for decades.
The key is to understand that inspiration rarely strikes you; to write about a technical subject in a way that is readable, entertaining, and simple, you will have to go to and strike inspiration.
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Richard Stone is the founder of Stone Junction, a specialist technical PR agency delivering international and digital PR and marketing services for scientific, engineering and technology companies. He loves a bit of Warhol and Duchamp, Beatles and Bowie and even Einstein and Astaire.
His biggest passion in life
is pizza is technical PR though, so if you are as passionate about it as him, drop him line on firstname.lastname@example.org. He loves a chat.