From Science to Fiction
A man lauded in the world of aeronautics and aviation as one of its most prolific and effective writers for more than 30 years, the coincidentally named, but unrelated to me guest is William (Bill) Scott. Bill has traveled the world interviewing and writing about some of the most important people in the field of aviation. He has willingly risked his reputation and credibility over and over again to tell stories others often would not consider covering. And with some of those stories, he incited global fervor about the future of our science and engineering workforce. Bill broke the very first media stories on the workforce crisis that looms today over an entire world of professionals in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. That is when B2W co-founder Rick Stephens and I met Bill Scott.
But after writing more than 2,500 stories, and garnering 17 editorial awards, he began to notice certain “story lines” that kept emerging. Year after year, different people in the same post would tell tale of the same impending crises. Further, he realized the audience he was reaching was select and fell under the category of “preaching to the choir” on the topics at hand. The key for him was to get the big picture across to the broader public.
At that point, he transitioned from being a sector leader (inherent by virtue of his title and position with his company), to being a media stakeholder leader. By applying the same facts he had been putting into his single editorial stories into a fictional premise, Space Wars: The First Six Hours of WWIII was born, and he could reach the millions of people outside his own industry who were formerly unreachable.
Our conversation in this interview is more than about Bill’s writing. It is about his discipline as a writer, and his relentless desire to get out an important story that had the potential to come true. We talk about the use of broader skills he had developed as a stakeholder in the world of aerospace, like relationship building, networking, and the ability to develop common language with people outside his field to get a great interview, or some new insight. How he suggests getting out key message points to the public is invaluable insight for any stakeholder. In this conversation, Bill offers both specifics and generalities for stakeholders looking to connect with local media, and on the flip side, for reporters looking to relay their stories. It’s a two-way road, telling the stories of our communities, businesses, and lives. Through storytelling, we learn about each other, find common ground and, ultimately, ignite the leadership necessary for a successful tomorrow.