Pipe Up

The line between “well informed, eager young professional” and “blabbermouth” is a fine one. When I first expressed interest in entering the Advertising game to the folks back home, I was hit with a few, “That’s a good idea, you like to talk a lot.” style jabs. I couldn’t really argue against them, and honestly that fact did influence my decision to join the copywriting cause. I like to talk, and I think I’ve gotten better at it since I first started. While my goal has been to produce more “on-brand” copy than “on-brand” small talk while moving around LevLane Advertising|PR|Digital as a copywriting intern, the latter is still an important part of the gig. We do a lot of brainstorming together, shooting ideas back and forth until they’ve got all the unnecessary fluff knocked off of them. That’s how we get to the good stuff. If we weren’t willing to talk through ideas others might not understand at first, those good core ideas would all get lost in semantics.

I realize now that this could seem like I’m encouraging students in the School of Media and Communications to communicate. That would be redundant. What I’m learning about and discussing here is just where, when, and how to do it during an internship. I became aware of focusing on this during a preliminary, idea-generating meeting at LevLane. We were going through different ideas, and I had opinions on each, but it was difficult for me to judge what it was in my place to say. So I didn’t say anything. My propensity for talking couldn’t match my fear of overstepping my boundaries. By the time I made a comment, my thoughts were jumbled with old, retained ideas, and it sounded like I was saying, “I understand everything that’s been going on!” rather than “What if we tried this?”

pipe up

Since then, I’ve realized that if you’re in the room, they probably wouldn’t mind a little sprinkling of what you have to say. That’s why they put you in the room. Somewhere along the way, you had an idea they liked, so they’re keeping you around in case you have some more. You don’t want to be the overeager kid with too much to say, or offend anyone, or be “the blabbermouth” of the intern squad… but I think you can come pretty close. I’m not running around spewing what I think is wrong with everything, singing songs for attention, but I’m giving steady, constructive feedback when asked to. I want to be something in-between the two characters pictured here, definitely leaning towards the big mouth. Doesn’t he look more fun? I like to talk, and I think it’s why I got the gig. Lately I’ve been shooting for “almost a blabbermouth” and it seems to suit me better.


One comment

  1. Hi Cole,

    I definitely agree with what you’re saying about not knowing when you’re talking too much or not enough. I have definitely been in situations where I thought I had something to say and when I finally opened my mouth it was that “I understand everything’s that’s going on” rather than the “What if we tried this?” although I am not on the creative side and on account management here at my internship I have been to many meetings where my input is asked. It is easy to understand now that if they did not care what I had to say then I would not be invited to the meetings in the first place. I am there to listen and give input when appropriate. You definitely don’t want to be the one always talking and drawing attention to yourself because then it is seen as unprofessional and obnoxious but in the right time and place agree that you should definitely not be afraid to let your voice be heard. An intern is there to give fresh insight into a new situation.

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