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By Jesse Cecchetto

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#FutureForward: Enjoy boredom & tone down the crazy

In our #FutureForward series we ask members of our ruckus family to share their insights into what two skills they think will still be relevant in public relations, communications, marketing and digital in 30 years.

Diane Bégin , VP of integrated communications at APEX Public Relations/ ruckus Digital, discusses how boredom can be a blessing for a creative mind and why it might be time to cut down on distractions in the workplace.

The pace of our work in communications seems to accelerate as each year goes by, so when asked what skills will be needed in our profession decades from now, a couple things came to mind.

Both skills revolve around minimizing the ‘so busy’ badge of honour some proclaim – by learning to integrate boredom in your life and toning down the crazy around you.

Add boredom to your skillset

One of the greatest skills I’ve come to admire in my career is when people know how to disconnect, be bored and do nothing.

Surprisingly very few people seem to be able to, instead filling their time with Netflix, meditation, a book or going online to consume more content – anything else than being bored.

The thing is the less time you take to disconnect and do nothing, the less creative capacity you have. And, working in a creative field like communications, that becomes a career-limiting move.

A recent New York Times article said the Dutch call doing nothing ‘niksen.’ 

Niksen makes us “more creative, better at problem-solving, [and] better at coming up with creative ideas.” It also helps you refuel your lost energy.

The challenge however in our culture is finding the time to be bored. It’s something you have to proactively fit in (and the New York Times article offers five tips to help you with just that).

Surround yourself with anti-crazy

There seems to be no shortage of new distractions to add to our daily work lives – including adding productivity tools like Slack or Basecamp, which some say add to the noise rather than helping it.

Ironically one of my favourite recent reads was written by the founders of Basecamp – Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson – appropriately titled It Doesn’t Have To Be Crazy At Work.

Basecamp is an example of a small business with an international success story. Through their journey its founders learned to navigate away from the ‘crazy’ of a start-up lifestyle by bucking the expected.

While not everyone aspires to be the founder of a tech start-up, the book itself offers all kinds of tips that anyone can act on like knowing that three people is actually the sweet spot for efficiently running group projects and not creating dreadlines (i.e. unrealistic deadlines not fixed to anything realistic nor purpose driven) to help you win at work.

Diane Bégin is the VP of integrated communications at APEX Public Relations/ruckus Digital. Need help with your social media approach? Drop us a line.

#FutureForward: Once upon a time, good storytelling never went away

In our #FutureForward series we ask members of our ruckus family to share their insights into what two skills they think will still be relevant in public relations, communications, marketing and digital in 30 years.

Amanda Carreiro, community manager at ruckus Digital, discusses why story telling will be a powerful and crucial tool 30 years from now, regardless of what shape of form it comes in.

Things in the digital world seem to change at warp speed, so it’s no surprise that even as social media professionals we’re still constantly learning and adapting to the tools we use daily.

It’s nearly impossible to predict what the social media marketing landscape will look like in 5 years, let alone in 30 years. Who’s to say if the big 5 social media platforms we use today, will still be relevant? But there’s one thing that will never go away, and that’s the ability to story tell.

Long before technology, there was word of mouth stories and cave drawings; after that came books, then radio, then television – all media with the same message told in different ways. Good stories have always found a platform to exist, and when social media began to take over the way we consume content, storytellers adapted to that platform as well.

The stories we tell now may have a character limit, or a video time limit, but that hasn’t stopped brands from telling stories that resonate with consumers. In the last 5 years, we’ve seen brands and users alike find a way to tell vibrant stories in 10-second videos.

Good brand story telling comes in many forms. At its truest form, it’s the ability to take a brand’s essence and communicate it to a desired audience – whether that be physically or digitally.

Without a good story, brand messaging gets lost in the social feed without much impact – but a good brand story transcends the pixels on our screens and into our physical lives. It becomes the thing we think about, talk about, and (ideally) buy.

So, while the way we consume content may look completely unrecognizable 30 years from now, one thing will never change – we’ll still need to be good storytellers.

Amanda Carreiro is the community manager at ruckus Digital. Need help with your social media approach? Drop us a line.