All the (creative) hills I have died on

How much is good work worth?

  • Funerals for bugs 
  • A 78 email long thread about the placement of a comma
  • When the client said the language was victimizing but they were victims
  • Double ended chapstick for your double ends 
  • Venus Williams vs a Venus Fly Trap
  • Letting people sue each other for food preferences
  • Making the actual product despite what legal say 
  • Adding an ‘er’ to a word of copy is not a claim of superiority
  • Saskatchewan
  • Bringing back Page 3 (for a good reason)
  • Edible bath bombs
  • Changing the speed of Pirate Ships in theme parks
  • Dog sperm banks 
  • Toy Adoption Centers
  • Make people choose us’ is not a strategy 
  • I can’t do this without a proper brief
  • Sniff-along adverts
  • Symphony orchestras for when you shower 
  • I can write a rap
  • The client is wrong 
  • Let’s push back
  • Driving planes down the motorway instead of flying them
  • Hobbyhorse version of Ascot
  • Animatronic old people
  • Kerning 
  • Choice of fonts 
  • Where the timeline slide should go
  • Emotional Support Dogs made from popcorn

In short, I have laid myself down like some sort of creative martyr far too many times

I have impaled myself on my own sword time and time again. In Les Miserables terms, I have ‘watered the meadows of France’ with creative blood. 

And where has it got me? 

Good question.

The world of creative media and comms is dog eat dog. Having the ability to stand your ground in an industry that constantly seeks to water down what you do, is a powerful asset. It’s the difference between winning at Cannes and not. It’s the difference between promotion and stagnancy. God is in the details when it comes to the work. 

But at what cost? How much is good work worth? 

In my opinion, it’s a fine line to balance. What a boring answer, right? The kind of answer politicians give when looking to appease the majority of voters unable to critically think for themselves. But it’s true. Spending too much passion can lead to burn out and passion after passion after relenting passion comes across as aggression. 

Paggression, if you will

And the danger zone of paggression risks you losing the buy-in of your team, without whom no work will get done and you’ll be fighting the battle on two fronts. In Dead Poet’s Society, Robin Williams says ‘There’s a time for daring and there’s a time for caution and a wise man understands which is called for’ — accurate. 

Conflict can be solved through combat, but it can also be solved by conversation. There’s a reason I’m not in accounts and prominently client facing. As I read through the email chains that arrive in my inbox daily, I take notes on how they phrase things, how they push back and how they articulate dissatisfaction without the need to blow the bloody doors off. 

The enemy of great work is good work, so it’s crucial to know when to pick your battles. But the enemy of good work is producing absolutely fuck all, so every battle needs to be carefully strategised. What I’m learning is that if you want to stand up for something, it’s fruitless unless someone will stand with you. 

Otherwise Creative is just dancing around the field, brazenly brandishing a machete with the infinite potential to look foolish. 

Featured image: Dollar Gill / Unsplash

Gigi Rice, Creative, Citizen Relations

Gigi works as a Creative at Citizen Relations, specialising in the creative PR space with a talkability lens framing her every idea. From winning a Gold Cannes Young Lion in her first year out of Ad school, to being named as Campaigns 'One to Watch', she aims to provoke and entertain with her blue sky thinking. When she's not knee deep in the industry you can find her writing plays or sparring at Muay Thai, depending on said day and mood

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