Is the keyboard now mightier than the pen?

Is the keyboard now mightier than the pen?

I’ve read a few articles recently around opinions on whether the pen is becoming obsolete in place of the keyboard and touch screen etc.

As a writer I say surely not!

I spend a good proportion of my working day (and life outside of work) drafting copy and the process of hand-writing enables me to finesse and refine my thoughts. Using a pen enables me to ‘feel’ the words as I commit them to paper, something a keyboard can not do.

Of course, technology is all around us today and it enables me to communicate with a much broader audience than even just give years ago.

So, personally, the pen will never become obsolete, but the keyboard also facilitates ways to work which were inconceivable only a decade ago.

My thoughts on social media in the built environment

Technology and social media is changing how we connect with each other and who we connect with. Relationships and friendships which wouldn’t have been possible ten, or even five years ago, are becoming commonplace. There are now endless opportunities to collaborate and network with people who share interests or work in similar roles and sectors.

I am a bid writer and marketer and I have spent most of my career working within the built environment. I am enjoying taking part in the changes in how we do things. I would point out, though, that technology isn’t changing what we do. This will always be building profile in the marketplace and winning profitable work. However social media is making it so much easier to connect with people, develop relationships and create influence.

Social media is also invaluable in getting the built environment sector story out there. If you don’t work in the sector, you probably have very little idea how design and construction influences our everyday lives, or how challenging it can be to complete schemes.

This informal flow of information, whether progress photos, timelapse cameras or video case studies of completed projects all contributes to developing society’s general knowledge of this key industry, as well as improving the sector’s reputation and hopefully attracting talented young people to want to develop a career in it.

So, social media is a real boon to the construction industry, all we need to do now is convince senior people that their clients really use it and engage with it, as well as other key stakeholders we may need to influence.

New starts: setting up as a freelance built environment marketer

So after many years of deliberation, I have decided to set myself up freelance. My service will be marketing and bid writing and my target audience is all stakeholders in the built environment.

It feels liberating to be able to work the hours I need to be able to complete an excellent piece of work, as well as work across many sectors and sectors in the industry, rather than being constrained by the organisation I am employed by.

The time is right for me to do this. I have spent nearly 12 years in this role and most of this time has been within construction or design. I am excited about being able to share these skills for the benefit of an industry I am so passionate about. However, whilst loving what I do, I have always felt envious of people who are entrepreneurial and masters (or mistresses) of their own destiny. I want to do this and if it doesn’t work out, I’ll do something else.

I’d love to hear about other people’s experiences of freelancing in this type of role within construction and any tips would be gratefully received at this point!

Wish me luck!