What do a female Victorian computing visionary, a Russian vodka chemist, and a Renaissance Florentine artist with a passion for engineering have in common?
It’s easy. They were all bright individuals who hundreds of years ago came up with unbelievable items that revolutionised our lives.
10 December 2015 is Ada Lovelace’s 200th birthday. Ada was the inventor of computer programming. She was born in 1815, and she was the only legitimate child of the poet Lord Byron.
When we celebrate her 200th birthday, we are celebrating the many ground breaking achievements, past and present, in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM). Developments in STEM have enhanced our well-being and kindled the digital revolution of the early 21st century.
The idea that the 1840s saw the birth of computer science as we know it today may seem preposterous, but long before the world saw its first car, aeroplane, or atomic bomb, and long before any computer was actually built, came a remarkable woman whose understanding of computing remained unparalleled and unappreciated for 100 years.
Brought up in an era when women were routinely denied education, Ada saw further into the future than any of her male counterparts, and her work influenced the thinking of one of World War II’s greatest minds.
Here at Hallam, we are lucky to support a variety of clients working in various STEM fields. More often than not we hear people saying content marketing would struggle in areas like this. We disagree. B2B sectors don’t need to be less creative than B2C sectors. You just need to apply the same skills:
Yes, creativity. You may not necessarily talk about welding machinery or staminal cells on a daily basis, but you can certainly find other issues related to your clients that you can use to promote. For example: are they unique in their field? Are they specialising in a particular sector? Do they have apprentice schemes? Do they export? If so, where? Emerging markets? Europe? How long have they been trading? Are they a family business? Do they have a spokesperson? If not, you can act as one – with their input of course.
To succeed in content marketing, and more so for content marketing aimed at STEM industries, you need a deep level of curiosity. Be curious about what’s going on in these fields. Be inquisitive of daily news, whether it’s online, on the radio, on social media, or on TV. Keep an eye out for any stories that might be linked to your specialist field – not just things that are taking place now, but also stories that might develop in the coming weeks, months, or even years. For example, we might be living on Mars in 10 years time. Or if not, we might already have seen our first ever commercial space flights. Robots will replace human workers, the effects of climate change will begin to be felt, our oil supplies are ever diminishing… your STEM clients may be able to comment on any one of these stories.
If you heard something on the news that can potentially be linked to a STEM client, pick up the phone or email the right journalists as soon as possible. Suggest an opinion piece or a commentary that they can add to their daily schedule, and a quote to support their work. If your input is highly relevant and topical, the editor or reporter will thank you for it. You will have given them something special: a unique opinion piece that’s very much on-trend.
If you have good media contacts who regularly keep in touch with you, they will know the clients you represent, and they may be on the phone straight away asking you for information, or for a comment. If not, make it your job to start building a good network of specialist trade journalists who write about those niche sectors.
At Hallam, we promptly offer advice, guidance, commentary, images, predictions and stats on behalf of our STEM clients. All these are part of an effective content marketing strategy that will help you to raise awareness and build links – even when you thought their sectors were too niche to promote.
To sum up, all clients can have interesting content marketing ideas and related digital PR campaigns to promote them, no matter what sector they are in. The secret relies on us and how effectively we can serve the journalists with prompt and useful material.
By the way, in case you were wondering the Russian scientist was Dmitri Mendeleev, the inventor of the periodic table, who came up with the 40% standard strength of Russian vodka. And the Florentine artist? Leonardo da Vinci. Who else?