Once upon a time, many years ago, I sat at a conference table in the middle of the afternoon with a man named John. We were in the meeting room at the Hillsborough County, Florida chapter of the American Red Cross; I’d been volunteering as a Public Affairs correspondent for a number of months, writing pieces for their newsletter and generally supporting their local outreach programs.
Today I was sitting with John, interviewing him for the front page article of our quarterly, the glossy color version of the newsletter that went out to Red Cross donors, supporters, and various politically-connected folks. We had decided to start doing profiles of people who had gone through our First Aid and CPR programs.
Even over fifteen years later, I still remember talking to John like it was yesterday. He had a great story.
Please let me introduce myself.
My name is Rob Warren. My wife and I own Load Bearing Creative, and the voice you read here on this blog is generally (but not always) mine. I’m a technical writer and a tech marketing guy. Most of the time, I work in a home office, writing white papers and case studies, while watching our wiggly Lab out in the back yard chasing birds.
There are human beings on the other side of the keyboard. And they believe in stuff.
For most of us, I think, there’s a natural inclination when we write about our businesses to avoid injecting personal sentiment into our working words. Some of that falls under the category of “being professional”, I suppose, but the older I get and the longer I work in this field, the more I suspect it’s little more than risk aversion.
We’re all afraid that some incredible client is just waiting out there to shower us with riches, but will shun us at the last moment because – gasp – they have discovered some personal bone of contention. So we hedge and avoid and back away and stick to the bullets.
Thing is, I don’t think we can get away with that anymore. Not in the social media age.