Thursday, August 18, 2011


Years ago I worked at an agency that was a pretty dismal place to work. There was no "vision." No one working with you. No one helping you fight for the work. No one, in fact, who didn't feel like they were working against you. And the joint (which has since been merged out of business) was rife with politics.

Naturally at such a place, the attrition rate was high and it was hard to attract new employees. I only stuck around because my client loved me and I was able to sell decent work on an important brand.

In any event, I hit upon an idea.

If an agency really wants to keep people involved, motivated, happy--feeling "loyal" in the parlance of direct marketing, every day around 5 o'clock, the CEO should walk around to everyone's office and hand them their day's pay in cash.

That, obviously, was a joke. But there was a point to it.

Many people at agencies have it in their nature to go above and beyond, to sweat the details, to work extremely long hours to make the work better. Or to try to.

What there is precious little of in life today is gratitude. A simple thank you. Work is pulled apart like a sadist rips the wings off of flies. By clients. By co-workers. By colleagues who are anything but collegial.

Since I started in this business, in life, I've always believed in thanking people for their time, their effort, their expertise. The little filip of warmth or humor at the end of a piece of copy is one mark of this.

There's too much saying what's wrong. That's easy.

It takes a human to say thanks.


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Jeff said...

Couldn't agree more. Thank you for this post.

Anonymous said...

Sorry for the late post.
I am a "client" and I read this blog frequently. Whenever I am presented creative, I make it a point to specifically address the creative team and thank them for their work. Whether the work is good or not, its important to me that people want to work on my business.
They are often surprised when I say thank you.

george tannenbaum said...

Thanks, Anonymous Client. Perhaps I'll work for you someday.