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What Typically Goes Around...

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…Comes around. So the saying goes. This dated axiom came to mind when I stumbled across this article on Gizmodo.com, “To Avoid CyberEspionage, Russia Switching Back to Typewriters” (http://gizmodo.com/to-avoid-cyber-espionage-russias-switching-back-to-ty-745269384).
Makes sense. You can’t hack a typewriter (though I’ve heard tell that it might be possible to tap into an electric typewriter…perhaps it’s because each key stroke makes a slightly different sound or impression?).
So, typewriters, seemingly already consigned to the oblivion where one finds dot matrix printers and fax machines, might make a comeback. I’m reminded of an episode of the new “Outer Limits,” where in the future, people had gone back to horse drawn carriages…possibly because all fossil fuels were exhausted or for pollution/environmental reasons, etc.
My point for today? Don’t be too quick to dismiss. There may be a hidden use for that…well, whatever it is. Client didn’t like your PR strategy? Maybe another one will. Or you might find a new use for an old thing. Working in the medical field, I see this sort of thing a lot from the medication perspective. Consider Viagra.
Originally, Viagra was developed as a heart drug. Turned out that it had this rather…um…interesting side effect among the men who took it.
What’s important, from a PR perspective, is to keep an open mind. Try looking at something from a different angle. Like a lot of PR people, I’m a former journalist, and journalism is a field that encourages this way of thinking. This is why so many reporters and editors and columnists are pack rats. We never get rid of anything, because you never know when that letter, that article, that magazine piece, that book, that email is going to have a use in another story, column, expose, feature.
Plus, something old can give birth to something new…like an idea. Just going through one’s “old stuff,” can kindle up a notion or two that can turn into a story…or an idea for a client.
Back before the internet, in the mid-80s when I worked for a small chain of community newspapers as a feature writer, editor and columnist, if I ever had a problem coming up with an idea for a piece, I’d pull out a world almanac and just start paging through. Invariably, something I would read would connect with something topical and I was on my way.
You never know where you’re going to find inspiration. One thing is for sure. No one was ever inspired by an empty, clear desk and blank, flat walls.
So all those folks who chucked their typewriters or sold them for a $1 at a yard sale, you’re probably kicking yourself, wondering, “Hey, maybe the Russians might have given me top dollar…or ruble…for it!”
And that’s one to grow on…

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