A teacher once told me, “Everything I teach in this class I’ll show you in three ways: as a formula, a picture and a story.” Since then I’ve tried to master three modes of communication: the nerdy, the arty and the expository.
The expository is editing and writing, from 7,000-word reports to video scripts and blog posts. I’m a copywriter at heart, always looking to extract the lightning from the lightning bug.
But since we’re all suffering from text overload, I find ways to tell stories with data, to compress ideas into tight, informative visuals, so you can skip right past the text. That’s the arty.
Here’s an example of the nerdy: I wrote scrapers in Python to crawl Amazon for the links among 5,000 books – people who read X also read Y – and Yahoo Finance for the age of every CEO in the Russell 3,000. That data fed visuals, which in turn fueled short articles.
I produce tight and vivid copy on subjects ranging from the whimsical (the power law of art schools) to the highly technical (metrics to identify the “SIFI” banks that could bring down the financial system). I map the white space to find forgotten themes and audiences. I work with B2B and professional services marketers on thought leadership and survey development.
Finally, I love working with salespeople and subject matter experts to get exposure and win deals. How ideas inspire action: That’s my gig.