Recently, my father purchased a new car. And like many new cars these days, it came equipped with Apple CarPlay, an application that helps to integrate your iPhone’s features into your car’s media center so that it is safer to use while operating a vehicle. And it can do some pretty cool things too- but that’s not the point of this story. My dad got this new car, and when I explained to him that it had Apple CarPlay, I wasn’t even done saying the words when he verbally full-stop-dug-in-his-heels REFUSED to discuss it. “No, no, nope. I am bad at technology. Can’t fit another thing into my head. I don’t WANT TO LEARN IT.” After an, ahem, challenging conversation, I got him in the car, and get this, PLUGGED IN his phone. And VOILA, Apple CarPlay was up and running. No setup, no learning curve, just plug and play. He was completely blown away. This happened 6 months ago. I still get calls from my father extolling my technological brilliance and knowhow. You’d think I’d invented Apple CarPlay. But here’s the thing that is amazing about most consumer-facing technologies and digital platforms these days- they are meant to be easy to use.

At The Moak Group, we get to work with a number of companies on a variety of issues and challenges that vary by industry, audience, and outcome. But there are days when simply being able to access and understand the technology used to do the work puts us way ahead of the game. I can’t tell you how many high-level meetings I’ve been in where senior executives and officials are confused about “how information can be stored in the clouds” or what it means to “share it on the social medias.” And yes, while there is a natural generational advantage to having grown up surrounded by such technology and technological innovation, our current reality means even if you haven’t seen it before, someone else probably has and knows what it is and has uploaded a YouTube video, or a podcast, or a listicle, or a template sharing how to access it.

I don’t mean to imply that as a result of this, everyone should be able to know how to use this technology, perhaps it doesn’t apply to them, or they simply don’t want to learn. But, for those that do, there’s a whole world (wide web) out there of technological resources at your disposal. So, whether it’s taking on the basics of graphic design through applications like Canva (link) or deep diving into Adobe platforms with learning tools like Lynda (link). Maybe it’s deciding to build your own website to support your business idea or side hustle with a platform like Squarespace (link). Or perhaps you simply want to know how to turn off that pesky dark mode from the new iOS iteration, then you have YouTube or Google at your service. Whether you want to balance your budget, edit your photos, find awesome graphic design templates for your company’s annual report- you can find information, templates, answers, ideas- all right from the comfort of your couch. These tools are there to help you take your game to the next level- no matter what your hustle might be, and can elevate your organization, or your professional cache.

I had a colleague the other day inform me that their company was growing and was in desperate search of communications professionals to join their team, but that they really needed folks who also had a graphic design skillset. Now, historically, graphic design job description would technically attract a different applicant set than a comms application (hot take: this is still true). But, can you be a comms person who also has a graphic design toolkit? Heck yeah. You know how I know this? Because I am one. So are most members of my team.

So, whether it’s following your passion or filling a need/niche- take advantage of the tools that are waiting out there for you, and you can be on your way to expanding your toolkit today!

(But hey- if you don’t want to, or you need help with the digital aspects of running a business- TMG can help you out with that. Check out our site and get in touch!)

*LMGTFY is an acronym for “Let me Google that For You”

Sarah Heine

Sarah Heine

Sarah Heine at The Moak Group
Understanding the transformation of political and policy arenas as a result of technological innovation and social media’s rapid development has always been a passion of Sarah Heine’s. She joined The Moak Group to support clients’ efforts to reach their digital and communications goals.
Sarah Heine