People are always asking me what I do. It’s a common ground type of question – we all do something. So what do you do?
I work at an advertising agency. I probably say those words, or some variation, four or five times a week. Occasionally, people will press further and want more details but usually that’s a satisfyingly glamorous answer and we move on to something else.
As with anything we say over and over again, the term “advertising agency” loses its meaning after a while. But I ran across a typo today that shook me into a little reverie on the subject of agency.
First of all, please realize I get a thrill out of finding typos and the rush is directly proportional to the number of people who might see the typo. It’s a complicated equation wherein a typo in an email isn’t worth much but a typo on a billboard situated on a busy highway sends me into a kind of happy euphoria or sheer panic in the fall-on-the-floor, curled-in-a-fetal-position variety – depending greatly on if I had anything to do with it.
And just for the record, this sort of thing has not happened. It’s the fear alone that keeps me on my toes.
Anyway, the typo I’m talking about was on a different scale entirely, something I call a “good typo” – those that inadvertently present a word or phrase or idea in a new light, leading to some kind of insight or – dare I say it? – revelation.
Here it is:
By controlling your agency and telling them what to do, agency may lose its passion.
Seeing the word “agency” in this context, without the expected and necessary article “the” (“the agency may lose its passion”) sent me searching to redefine this stale word.
The word agency has its roots in the Medieval Latin word “agere,” meaning to do, act or manage.
To do, act or manage. Rather than an easy noun phrase designation (as in my agency, or the agency), maybe we should all remember what the word agency really means.
When you act with agency, you’re doing something with dynamic force. You’re empowered and confident. You’re not merely punching a clock and sitting at a desk; you become the lone, decisive superhero in a world of sameness and ordinariness, the only one who can bring about real change.
So suit up. And remember, with great power comes great responsibility.
Dr. Nate Pritts – Copywriter
The Russo Group