After an amazing two and a half years, the time has come for me to say goodbye to Mustang Marketing. Thanks to my Mustang journey, I’ve learned a lot of rules of the road that I’ll be able to take with me on my next adventure.
It’s not safe to use an outdated AP Stylebook.
The most current AP Stylebook is one of the most important instruments in my marketing toolbox; I’ve discovered the importance of staying up to date on AP Style—because the rules change every year. If a writing project begins in 2013 and finishes in 2014, all the editing regulations from the first half of that project have to be double checked—all bets are off. Even some of the most set-in-stone conventions can (infuriatingly) crumble into ruin (see Danny’s AP Style blog post).
Microsoft Word is not a grammar guru.
Even the most trusted word processing program makes bad recommendations. Don’t depend on it as the proofreading end-all-be-all—it’s not worth the battle with your copy editors. Real-life exhibit A:
True colors come out during staff lunches.
You don’t know the people you’re working with until you dine with them. When the bosses bring in lunch for the creative staff, you might discover the sweetest designer is not above scraping the last of the baked beans onto his plate before you’ve had any. The lesson: don’t let Brett serve himself first. When everyone grabs their own lunches and meets in the conference room, the petite administrative assistant might surprise everyone with a bulging bag of Taco Bell. The lesson: don’t underestimate Nerissa.
Push boundaries with your creative.
In my humble opinion, the best campaign leaves a lasting impression—especially if it’s a toe over the PC line. Earlier in my Mustang career I ended up on a wedding website’s 404-error page, and I took a screen shot of it to keep. It serves as a reminder to make even the dullest messaging fun.
Leaving your coworkers will probably be harder than you thought.
Before my last few days, I didn’t realize how much I’d miss each of the people I worked alongside for almost three years.
…Scott’s good-natured teasing
…Dianne’s impeccable fashion advice
…Chris’ distinctive laugh
…Brett’s attempted pranks
…Randall’s punny jokes
…Danny’s colorful sarcasm
…Michael’s refreshing cynicism
…Jess’ infectious optimism
These wonderful people have become my second family, and I feel so lucky to have had the experience of exercising my creativity with them for a living. As I look back and wave them on my way out, it won’t be in goodbye—it’ll be in thanks.