Looking to get digital with Les Labs? Here’s someone you should know – check out our Q&A series with a valued member of the Labs community and see why our amazing instructors, students, and team members choose to #learnwithlabs.
SF: First off, wishing you a huge welcome to the Labs Q&A series! First time here? Introduce yourself please!
SC: Hi everyone. I’m Scott, proud instructor at Les Labs. I help people learn, understand, and utilize some of the fundamental concepts we put into practice every day when we plan, create, and measure digital marketing, branding, communications, and all the content that goes with it in the digital world. I also work as an Instructor & Program Coordinator at McGill University’s School of Continuing Studies.
SF: Couldn’t help but notice you’ve done some really impressive work in your daytime jobs until now. So why teach?
SC: To be honest, I’ve been teaching my entire career. While supervising staffs of TV newscast producers, teams of videographers, writers and editors for TV documentaries, and corporate marketing/communications teams, I have made it a point to teach and empower those I work with and lead them to set developmental goals. When given the opportunity to step in front of an actual class three years ago, I felt quite at home and instantly fell in love with teaching. It’s become my passion ever since.
SF: “Digital Literacy” could have a number of different implications. What does it mean for you?
SC: Digital Literacy means understanding your online sources when you’re taking in content and acting with considered intent when you post, blog, or produce anything that goes online. This literacy starts with smart listening to reliable sources, and understanding the intent of any other sources you may choose. This awareness should then feed your personal online identity: why are you online? To be a thought leader? To inspire? To entertain? To instigate? To inform?
Digital Literacy means understanding the context of what you’re seeing and hearing and understanding the impact your input online can and will have, both personally and professionally.
“…why are you online? To be a thought leader? To inspire? To entertain? To instigate? To inform?”
SF: The subjects you are teaching seem valuable, but are they really sought-after in the current job market?
SC: Communications and marketing roles today demand understanding far beyond basic digital literacy. You must have a command of developing and implementing an organisation’s digital strategic vision. In all other professional roles, basic digital literacy is an expectation so your organisation can count on you to understand your company’s online identity and mission. You might even be asked to listen to, understand, and engage with your community.
SF: What skill(s) do you often notice are missing in people who are job-hunting for a marketing or communications role?
SC: The older generation of applicants underestimates the importance and potential of the digital marketplace. In most cases, more than half of your time and resources should go toward digital. Many in the younger generation are challenged with creating content in the voice of the brand or organisation. Their personal voice is too much a part of their first communications, but they’re also quick learners (since they’re digital natives). Lead them in the right direction and they are soon teaching you!
SF: Very cool. What attracted you to marketing in the first place?
SC: Once I understood that marketing is simply about storytelling and connecting with others, I was in. Whether you’re telling the story of a product or a service, that relation of how it can impact one’s life is very exciting. And you can communicate through a photo, video, a blog post or a quote. The digital arena gives us infinite ways to connect and build an audience.
“Once I understood that marketing is simply about storytelling and connecting with others, I was in.”
SF: You’re also a father to a really cool young son. How important is digital literacy for the next generation?
SC: It’s their way of life. The most important conversations we have about the digital world revolve around context and understanding the intent of the sources you’re taking in. The second, as I mentioned, is the vibe you’re putting out. I’ve had my son come in and talk to class to share what platforms he uses, what grabs his attention, and what lights him up. Great lessons learned!
SF: You also teach at McGill University. Assuming you don’t have thousands of hours to spare, why did you choose to also teach at Les Labs?
SC: As teaching has ignited in me, I’ve been looking for new opportunities to teach with groups that I believe in. The mission of Les Labs is to empower those looking to expand their knowledge and expertise – to better themselves. I’ll fly that flag all day!
SF: Got any words of wisdom to share with anyone looking to transform their skillset by engaging with all things digital?
SC: Have an open mind as you enter this digital arena of opportunities. Every day the possibilities expand, so jump in and learn the latest tools, platforms, and trends so you can use them for business and for yourself!