It was a proud moment, attending the opening of the Annie Leibovitz Pilgrimage photography exhibit at The Concord Museum. db&r had the pleasure of contributing creative services to the event – event invitations and poster design, and some other promotional materials.
But the point of this post isn’t to tout the capabilities of my agency’s creative team. Rather, it’s to consider what and who deserves credit for agency work that gains recognition. Credit is a very valuable currency in our business, and to personal self-esteem and motivation. Its worth can be extraordinary, albeit short-lived.
During the opening evening of the exhibit, I was continuously introduced as the person who designed the “wonderful” exhibit marketing materials that people admired so much. I quickly responded with “Thank you, but I wasn’t the designer,” and continued to talk about who was actually behind the work.
So, who really deserves the thanks and the credit?
Everyone who made it possible.
Not enough people understand that it takes more than an advertising agency or a creative person to create great work. We need a great client, not just for approvals, but for the judgment, trust and, at times, courage to make it all happen.
In a moment of praise, it’s a wonderful thing to share the accolades. Sometimes it even feels like the more you share the credit, the more credit you’re afforded. However, in some agencies, the credit competition feels a bit like this scene: without retaining any less for yourself.
In a business like advertising, where criticism is the air we breathe, praise is a wonderful thing to get and hold onto if you can. It can even offset all those times when our sense of appreciation has to be self-generated.
So I want to thank Susan Bloom, Peggy Burke, Carol Haines, plus Nik, Benito, Jackie, Corie, Fred (at db&r) and all the people and experiences that teach us how to know what great work is, that it matters, and how to make it happen. And, of course, I want to thank Annie Leibovitz whose work and artistic perspective are simply amazing.
How do you share the credit within your company? Do you think people deserve credit when they’re just doing their job and what’s expected of them?