Advertising can stand to do a little more

In Agency News, Industry News on June 21, 2012 at 11:26 am

Letter to the Editor
Native Sun News –
June 20-27 Issue
Reprinted with permission. Special thanks to editor Jesse Abernathy

We rarely have time to reflect back on accomplishments or jobs well done. And by “we”, I mean we as a society. We as an industry. We as a marketing and communications firm. In this hustle-bustle, get-it-done-yesterday world that we’ve all created, those times of reflection are ultimately saved only for special occasions, anniversaries and retirement.

But not today.

Today, I want to reflect on the accomplishments of an Introduction to Business class from Oglala Lakota College in Pine Ridge. This spirited group of civic-minded students are working hard to better their community. They believe in the place they live. They believe in each other. More importantly, they believe in the future of their people. They passed out hundreds of disposable cameras to Lakota children. There were no rules about what to take photos of or what’s inappropriate. The only direction that came with the camera was a question: What does hope look like to you?  This collection of photos will figure prominently in a suicide awareness campaign set to launch on the reservation in the Fall.

I trust that you will consider attending the opening viewing of this art installation on June 22 at the Little Wound Elementary School Auditorium in Kyle. The display will be open for viewing from 4pm-5:30pm with a special program to follow.

Humbly, I want to thank that class for what they taught me. This class of college students gave me a first glimpse of a world that few advertising professionals truly understand. And they gave me a view of a way that life can be lived that surprised me, that invigorated and enlightened me. They showed me, perhaps for the first time, the relevance of working in advertising. More importantly, they are a shining example to our local advertising community at large. Do something to better your community. Do something to change social forces. Do something that won’t show up in your company’s bottom line. Do something.

The incalculable genius of Albert Einstein perhaps said it best: “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.”

Jason Alley
Creative Director/Principal of Message
Board Member of the Black Hills Chapter of the American Advertising Federation


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