February 20, 2019

Helping PR pros make smarter decisions

Nurturing a sense of wonder.

Nurturing a sense of wonder.

Perhaps it is returning to work from a wonderful (and offline) vacation. Maybe it is having the boundless energy of a new puppy in the house. For whatever reason, lately I’ve noticed that I’ve been having more of those “can you believe it?”-type thoughts, and it’s a bit surprising, but very refreshing. A few provided for example:

  • I look at my smartphone and instead of viewing it as a persistent reminder of work, I think: “Wow. There’s more computing power in this little device and it does more than my first PC. And I carry it in my purse.”
  • We have more ways to connect with more people than ever before. I had a pen pal through Big Blue Marble (remember that show?) when I was young. Now, I have friends that I’ve met through Facebook and Twitter that I talk to often enough I have to think for a minute before I realize I’ve never actually met them in person. Wow.
  • I have no coding skillz whatsoever, but I can sit here, type for a bit, and push a button that says “Publish” and whatever I’ve written will end up online. On the Internet.
  • In 1994, my mobile phone was an enormous thing hard-wired into my car. I opted for that model because I needed the strength of range, as I was traveling a lot in rural Missouri where there were no cell towers. Today, it’s hard to find an area where you don’t get at least some signal.
  • The “laptop” I was using in 1994, when I was traveling through rural Missouri, was packaged in what looked like a hard-sided suitcase. It had a regular sized keyboard and a 5″ screen. It was ridiculously heavy. I can do 10 times as much on an iPad that weighs almost nothing.
  • I moved quite often as a kid, and I missed one of my friends when I moved back to the states, so I called her. In Pakistan, where her parents had been transferred to–the roughly 16 minute phone call cost around $200, if I’m remembering that episode correctly. (Yes, I got in trouble. It came out of my allowance, for a while.) Now, I can Skype with friends around the world at no cost.
  • After a friend passed away in late February, I was on Facebook, and the chat box popped up. It was another friend from the same circle, and we chatted for a bit–me, in New Hampshire, him, from South Africa. The fact that we’ve connected through Facebook is amazing enough, but to be able to discuss the loss of our friend right then, when we both needed to was both precious and important.

In the everyday hustle and bustle of the daily grind, it’s sometimes easy to miss (or forget) how very remarkable all of this technology is, and how very far we’ve come in such a short time. What about you? Do any of these tools of the trade, or social networking sites ever leave you thinking “wow–I cannot believe this?” Nurturing that sense of wonder is important.

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About The Author

Jennifer Zingsheim Phillips is the Director of Marketing Communications for CARMA. She is also the founder of 4L Strategies, and has worked in communications and public affairs for more than 20 years. Her background includes work in politics, government, lobbying, public affairs PR, content creation, and digital and social communications and media analysis.

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