BE CREATIVE LIKE WARHOL
28th July, 2020
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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 creative like Warhol
When you write something, you should do so with the reader of the content clearly in mind. I find it helps to picture the person; a design engineer working at their station, a production engineer assessing machinery, a CEO, debating the business at the board room table.
But there is also something that links all three of those jobs, and every other job that you might be writing for; they are all human. Much as we like to think that engineers are only influenced by technical arguments, the reality is that all humans are influenced by emotional arguments and we can be swayed by a creative turn of phrase.
We shouldn't forget this in our writing. Don't be shy of a creative hook or idea, it doesn't have to contradict an authoritative and technical tone of voice.
There is already a lot of dry content out there for technical audiences, which forgets that most engineers are inspired by the magnificent, the epic and the larger than life. People become engineers because of the International Space Station, the Bloodhound land speed record, or the Large Hadron Collider. Not because of their Univerity's report-writing style guide.
So, no matter what the guides tell you, take some risks with that reader in mind, even if there is a voice at the back of your head, saying the world isn't ready yet.
Andy Warhol donated a piece to New York's Museum of Modern Art in 1956, only to have it returned with a note saying there was no space for it. Duchamp's most famous installation, The Fountain, only remained on-site in a museum for two days, before being thrown into the trash. The phrase 'impressionism' was coined by an art critic that thought Monet's work was merely an impression of a real painting, less finished than the, 'preliminary drawings for a wallpaper pattern'.
The lesson here is clear, the world might not always be ready, but you will never know until you try.
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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.