Yesterday, Richard Laermer, CEO of PR agency RLM, wrote up a pointed and critical piece (Who Gives a Hit) about how we, as communicators, may not be the best examples of sharing the wealth when a big hit on someplace like CNN comes in. As humbling as this may be, the one big image that came to mind as I read Richard’s post was one of the final scenes in the film Wag the Dog.
Dustin Hoffman’s character, Stanley, was faced with the idea of receiving payment for his services in the form of things like being granted an ambassadorship, money, etc. Stanley was insulted, exclaiming, “Money! You think I did this for money?! I want credit!”
Granted, Stanley was dealing with a different kind of campaign than most of us are used to; however, it was still the image that came to mind when Richard called the industry out (himself included) on the idea that someone has ‘dibs’ on this high profile contact or that media outlet. One of the biggest issues with the communications industry (or any other industry for that matter) is that it is filled will human beings that can easily foul up a great idea, like sharing credit for a home run. This whole concept is easier said than done because EGO is involved. Like Stanley, we all want credit, praise and validation.
However, striving for true collaboration and equal credit in communications is something worth fighting for. We just need to check our egos at the door.
Nothing big, right?
It would be sooo worth it. Checking your ego at the door would support:
- collaboration – when you’re humble, you’re open to hearing out everyone’s ideas – regardless of what their ‘title’ may be.
- teamwork – the best work gets accomplished when you have people in a variety of teams and practices helping each other out…all moving towards one common goal.
- the need for a sense of humor – you don’t take yourself too seriously and realize that you are NOT finding the cure for world famine. Yes, you are doing something important; but you’re keeping it all in perspective.
And more than that, you’re actually a person that people WANT to work with.