SHARING WITH YOUR RIVAL: Is that really smart???
I just had a phone call the other day with a friend who is a VP at a big, very successful public relations agency. We met many, many years ago when she was an account executive at a boutique agency in NYC where I worked as a receptionist. We were sharing some stories and we started comparing client campaigns (without proprietary details, mind you, but general concepts around Word of Mouth campaigns and Hollywood promotional partnerships.) Their agency works with some great brands and I told her I had a new business platform I wanted to pitch her. But she interrupted me and said, “don’t tell me your idea, I might steal it.”
Business is competitive. No duh. I really like my friend. She’s super smart and wildly funny, she’d be a great co-worker—she’s incredibly collaborative and really quick
on her feet. I love shooting the breeze with her, but she’s right. You do have to be careful what you share. Especially when you’re in the same biz. And honestly, that’s a bummer. It got me thinking about detritus of competitiveness. Lost allegiances and the like. Being competitive is exciting but it’s always anti-climatic and kind of mean spirited. Someone is always losing. Ok, this is going to sound ridiculous, I know it, but imagine a world where everyone wins. God, who is reading this! Maybe a world where we all can live in peace (ok, now I’m being silly!) But, for just a moment after my convo with my friend I wanted the competitive nature of our industry to disappear. And just for once I wanted every agency that was up for the new, hot cosmetic brand to win the business. What an idea. What a silly, sweet idea.