The planets have aligned perfectly for the 3 Ws this week—an advertising agency with whom we work, Central Coast, is going to be featured on AMC’s “The Pitch” (tune in this Thursday), AND, our own agency was thrilled to find out that we were named Bulldog Reporter’s 2013 Small Agency of the Year.
Awards and contests, whether on television or otherwise, have much in common: promote yourself while letting your work/skills do the talking. That said, writing about and promoting your own agency’s PR expertise is a bizarre experience—like the scene in the surreal “Being John Malkovich” when the actor John Malkovich slips into his own consciousness and finds himself in a restaurant filled with infinite John Malkovich’s all repeating one word, “Malkovich,”over and over again. I’m sure our friends at Central Coast will find it equally strange watching themselves pitch potential clients on national television.
Sure, PR is work, the work we do every day. But when it’s under the microscope, it starts to look very different. Writing is the same, when no one is watching there is an immense freedom, creating the story, finding your voice, etc. –but how do you find it and how does it change when you know others are watching?
We work in PR! We make our living tooting horns, spreading the word and leveraging our relationships and our knowledge of the industry to do so. However, this is all behind the scenes, we prefer our clients capture the limelight—we are the worker bees, not the Queen. When the tables turn and you do that very same thing for your own agency, you see the process from a new perspective. It touches on the duality of our culture: Do not be a braggart, but be successful! (Exhibit A: The Unsinkable Donald Trump).
The experience of writing the submission, working together to find our agency’s “voice” to tout our accolades, was an interesting exercise. When pulling together our awards submission and writing the narrative, zeroing in on “our story,” all that we have done as an agency, it was easy to miss the forest for the trees. Certainly the honor of winning and the exposure is amazing—excellence is what we aim for after all. But that doesn’t account for the experience of working with the team on the submission—passing edits back and forth, pitching in with our various expertise, working late into the night—which was a rediscovery of the core of what makes our agency tick.