Courtesy: A Workplace Essential

Thank You TypewriterThe rules of courtesy were programmed into my brain from a young age. The power of “please” and the testimony of “thank you” are the gods of courtesy, but like all greatness, there’s more than meets the eye. These words represent the beginning and the end of all things courtesy. Just as in life, the most important parts of courtesy are not the beginning (please) or the end (thank you), but what happens in between.

Growing up playing sports showed me how to work with others in the pursuit of something greater than myself. Working at OCHWW over the last few months has shown me that my coaches prepared me for what most new college grads consider “real life” more than I thought. At an advertising agency, everyone relies on others to accomplish their goals. The creative team might be the players on the ice (I played hockey), and the account team might be the coaches. Without these two teams working in tandem, the work does not get completed. If the creatives are the players and the account teams are the coaches, then the clients are the general managers and owners. All are in the pursuit of one thing, the Stanley Cup of advertising: a great ad and maybe a few accolades to go with it.

Now, how does all this work get done? With the help of courtesy, of course. Here’s an example: I pass the puck to you. You need to get it back to me for us to score. Simple, right?

Here’s another: I email you in the morning. “Can you please let me know where project “Protect the Puck” is on the timeline and when I can expect to receive it? Thank you.”

If I don’t hear back from you in a timely fashion, it might paralyze me. By simply taking a few seconds to respond, it helps me to prioritize my work that day and solve problems, finding a way to work around the situation, or work with you to complete the project. I understand that you are busy. We all are. But as a professional you know that all your colleagues are relying on each other to get things done. By giving your team members a quick heads-up, you help them do their jobs better. You also relieve some tension in your own day because it forces you to prioritize too.

There are other benefits that come from workplace courtesy too. When you are kind to and considerate of your colleagues, that will come back to you. The easier you interact with people, the more likely they will be to help you in a pinch if they can. In turn, this makes your team stronger because you can interact with great candor and camaraderie. A strong team in which everyone is working in tandem is tough to beat.

If you do not carry yourself with great workplace courtesy, may the gods of courtesy smite thee!

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Intro to Ogilvy: The Journey Comes to a Close

Cole Thumbnail Why would you work for Ogilvy CommonHealth?

The internship is coming to a close and in my final few weeks I’m beginning to sort through some things that I have enjoyed. There is getting to meet individuals from all different professional and personal backgrounds. The Starbucks coffee machine downstairs—and if it’s a really good day, being able to make it to the “real” Starbucks nearby. There is hearing good news from a client regarding a project your team has put a lot of hours into. And much more. But I would have to say, out of everything I’ve seen this summer, my favorite part of working for Ogilvy CommonHealth is changing people’s lives. Everyone here does it too. Let me explain.

I’m a marketing intern, not a doctor. How could I possibly be changing lives?

I once had this idea that the only way to make a difference in the health world was to be the first point of contact with patients. I had to be a doctor. So I signed up for an education in science and checked all the boxes to get me closer to that goal. What I started realizing, the further I traveled down that path, wasn’t that I wanted to be a doctor, but instead that I just wanted to help people. Well, there was that—and also organic chemistry. Thus my search to help people through a different occupation began.

This summer opened my eyes to yet another avenue to help others. This avenue is sometimes not recognized as directly. And if done well, this avenue can effectively change people’s behavior without them knowing and being able to acknowledge it. I’m referring to contributing to a team that effectively communicates healthcare and thus accomplishes a worthwhile goal of improving the health and well-being of others.

As an advertising agency, we build awareness of what therapies patients can seek out, and what drugs may be dangerous to them. We update healthcare providers on safety, efficacy, availability, and innovative ways for using a drug or therapy. We educate the physician and patient world on what therapies will help specifically match a patient’s individual needs. We build websites to host support networks. We help grow communities in which patients can voice opinions and seek advice. Healthcare communication matters, and regardless of your position or department within OCH, your part is integral to making this all happen.

It all starts with great talent.

In addition to helping people, I enjoyed learning about how every piece to the puzzle fits in so perfectly to create art. This observation is best summed up by our very own Matt Giegerich: “Only through great talent—spirited, collaborative, supportive and supported talent—can truly great work be produced.” Sitting in on creative developments, routing job bags with minor copy tweaks, digitalizing notes from editing, staring down at finance reports, and seeing things come to life both digitally and in studio, I am witnessing synergy. I have had the pleasure of observing people combine what they truly like to do, and apply that talent toward a worthwhile cause.

One of my favorite marketing quotes is, “Success is making those who believed in you look brilliant.” Through winning a pitch, it is your client who believed in you. However, you must not lose sight of another group that believes in you, and another form of success. That group is the patients, and that success is knowing that when you walked into the office today, you helped change someone’s life. No matter how small you may consider your contribution (such as in the case of an intern), you are contributing to this cause.

All good things must come to an end.

Having experienced life at an agency firsthand now, I have grown to appreciate the vast amounts of work and talent that go into advertising. I will continue to appreciate my favorite commercials, and campaigns that make me laugh and smile regardless of the amount of times I’ve viewed them. However, leaving the agency this summer, I’ll have an even fonder image of the impact of effectively communicating healthcare, and especially the difference-makers who make it all possible here at OCH.

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Instances of Passion at OCHWW (And Why They Are So Important)

Kristine thumbnailPassion.

As a career-obsessed, 20-year-old Penn State student, I have a lot of it.

However, it wasn’t until I was given the opportunity to intern here, at Ogilvy CommonHealth, that I truly understand the power of that passion and how it can significantly impact a company and all its products. I believe—and so should you—that the passion each and every Ogilvy employee has is the foundation to the success of this company. And I can tell you, in my six weeks so far here, there is no short of it.

However, sometimes, in the day-to-day drab, it is easy to ditch that passion you feel for your career, throw up your arms and say, “I give up!” So, I believe sharing with you some of the admittedly unconventional, but surprising and refreshing experiences I have had here, will reinforce your belief in all that extra effort you put into your work.

 Example 1: The One Word War

During my very first week here, I was invited to sit in on a meeting. It included account and creative staff members and the client (on the phone). The meeting was to discuss messaging and concepting. It began smoothly, steadily going page by page through some work that had already been established.

But then, the forward progress hit a stopping point. This point was at one word, in a seemingly random sentence, on the page: specifically, it was the adjective “powerful.”

One person voiced their opinion—a belief that the word should be changed to “best,” and then—wham! A monsoon of debate and arguing ensued before my eyes. It didn’t matter who the person was or what position they held; if they were in that room, they had an opinion and they made sure everyone heard it.

Unknowingly to me, this word held the future of the campaign in its hands. From what images would be used to what the booths would look like to what feeling the word would make someone feel; each word took on an enormous persona. For the rest of the allotted time and then some, this debate continued on! No one would give in or come to a consensus. This adjective had to be perfect to each person in the room and no one would stop until that was certain.

And I have to tell you it was incredible to watch! In fact, it was probably the best thing I could have witnessed in my first week because after that I knew that if I did not want to strive for perfection in every detail of my work, I would not be successful in this business.

And what was even more astounding—later that afternoon, I found two of the debaters sitting together STILL fighting over which word is better.

…I’m still not so sure if there ever was a winner.

 Example 2: The Pitch

When you work in Creative, you always have to be ready to sell your ideas…and sell them well. Even if it is a beautiful summer Friday afternoon and there is a creative team regroup…and your boss decides to attend; if you want your work to make it, you always have to be ready.

Sitting in this meeting, I was—admittedly—already daydreaming about the weekend, assuming everyone else in the room had a similar mindset. Meanwhile, each art director, with his or her copywriter partner, stood up and explained their concepts. Critiques were made, compliments were paid, and on the meeting went.

Then up came a controversial concept, one that no one could agree whether or not it had what it took to move on. It was at this point, where it was so easy to just throw it aside or just let it fall, where things became awesome.

The art director who came up with the concept stood up and, with every explicit word he could think of and combine together, spoke feverishly to his idea. With every word, I swear, I could feel his love and excitement for this idea and I think everyone else in the room did also.

These are the moments, I have come learn, that can drive potential to unheard of heights. It would have been so easy for that team member to sit back and let the others kill his idea. Although it was one of many, he stood by each one like he would never get this chance again.

 So, what’s the takeaway here?

Well, I believe that these little instances are perfect examples of why your passion is needed and appreciated in this industry.  Whether it’s a full-blown war over an adjective or a heartfelt speech on the possibility of an idea moving closer to being selected, there is never an inappropriate time to have passion for the work.

And, in fact, there should never be a moment that you are caught without it.

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Intro to Ogilvy: An Intern’s Adventure

cole thumbnailSummer: Preparing for the Journey

June rolls around and it is in your nature to assume the road ahead will be full of the outdoors, fun destinations, social gatherings with friends, and personal productivity to accomplish those important goals that seem to be neglected throughout the school year—such as finishing three seasons of Game of Thrones in one week. It is the summer. It is time to kick back, relax, and enjoy your well-earned break. But you’re going into your last year of college now, and the reality is that your prior expectation of what June, and summer, usually entails, has changed. And all for the better.

I’d like to share the adventure, mystery, and beginning of a journey. This journey surely will not be the summer I’ve grown comfortable with, but most definitely will become the summer that any eager college student could hope for. This will be a journey not filled with frequent trips down the Garden State Parkway to the beach, but instead frequent trips down 287 and 80 to Morris Corporate Centers. A journey where trips to “The Pool” and going out to “Sushi” now means I have a meeting scheduled, and not a watery oasis or a fine dinner ahead of me. A journey no longer filled with intently researching which new concerts are coming up, but instead intently researching which new birth control products have launched new banner ads on WebMD. Yup, this summer will be different. But it’s a welcome change, because we didn’t spend the last two semesters working to earn a break; we spent the last two semesters working to earn an internship.

This two-part series will be the truth of my experience of an Uncommon Internship here at OCH.

Week One: The Journey Begins

As we drove back toward the Morris Corporate Centers, orientation had finished. Time to meet our mentors. We all stood around in the lobby quietly, and one by one our mentors would enter the lobby, call out a name, and just as all of us interns had been brought together, we were pulled right back apart. I felt like we were in a sports draft and the order in which we were called had some odd correlation to the amount of interest our mentor had in having us for the summer. Because I was probably the only intern crazy enough to worry about such things, naturally I was called last.

Boy, was I wrong. My mentor came up and greeted me and somehow managed to gather back my excitement, reassure me that my summer was in good hands, and convey that what help we could provide was greatly welcomed and needed. So sparing you the details about my thoughts surrounding having my own cubicle, a work phone with my name already programmed into it, and all the other simple touches that excite an intern, I’ll continue on with a valuable lesson I learned that day.

Lesson 1: Taking Marketing Classes Doesn’t Mean You Know Marketing

As I sat down and read my first DO Brief, my knowledge of marketing seemed to continuously shrink. It wasn’t that I couldn’t understand the brief in front of me, it was that I couldn’t comprehend how it got in front of me. How many minds and hands have touched this—how many hours? In looking up and seeing a product sample on my desk, the enigma grew to include how that very same brief led to the creation of that product—its message, its flavor, and its brand. It is not that I did not learn anything in my marketing classes—in fact, I would like to think I paid attention. The missing knowledge most certainly could be best explained by the fact that I was taking Intro to Marketing, and not Intro to Ogilvy. My class didn’t explain how innovation truly seemed to make every marketing entity unique. It is the “innovate or die” mentality that probably pressures each marketing firm to be unique, and is most likely the reason that there are some intangibles about marketing that no class can teach you. Only experience can show you. It is Fusion, it is many meetings in oddly named rooms (like The Pool and Sushi), and in general it is effective communication and interconnectivity in a community with a common goal in mind. It’s the uncommon way in which OCHWW creatively executes service and markets for “The Life of the Brand.”

It was once said, “Marketing isn’t magic. There is a science to it.” I may have learned a little bit of the science behind marketing through my lecture halls and textbooks; I do not deny it exists. However, I’m going to have to disagree with the preceding quote and state that the magic behind marketing also exists, and it can sometimes only be viewed through the lens of a community member—an employee, or even an intern.

In the next part of this series, I’ll share more lessons I have learned as this journey continues.

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