Creative Matters—AAF-Houston, January 2013, Issue 16

Creative Matters

January 2013 Issue 16  

In This Issue...

Message From The Chairman

Dear AAF-Houston Members,

Happy 2013! We have a lot of great events planned for you this year. Andy Sernovitz will be our speaker at the Monthly Luncheon on January 16th. Don't miss Andy 's dynamic presentation and receive a FREE copy of his book, "Word of Mouth Marketing". CAll 713-ADS-9999 to make your reservation, or go online to

ADDY's are almost here! Did you receive your invite to this year's ADDY Gala on Saturday, Feb. 2? Please call the AAF-H office or go online to purchase your tickets or table. This year our gala will be at House of Blues in downtown Houston. The dress is black tie optional and we lowered the price of single tickets. What's not to love? Dinner seating will be limited so call or go online for your tickets today.

The AAF-H office has moved to 2299 White Street near downtown off the Taylor Street exit. Norm Pegram, CEO of Premier IMS and a long time AAF-H Board member, has very generously donated the space. He has even added fresh paint and new carpet! Please drop in and see our new digs.

I look forward to seeing all of you on Wednesday, January 16th at the Junior League of Houston for our first monthly meeting of the year and then downtown at House of Blues on February 2nd for a fantastic night of advertising celebration.

Wishing you a very successful 2013,


Camille Bryan

Creative Thought Leader Speaker Series: Andy Sernovitz


The 51st Annual AAF-Houston ADDY Awards & Creative Revival

With the Honorable Jimmy Dale Wilson leading the way, the 2013 ADDYs will prove to be a life-changing event . . . one way or the other.

The 51st Annual AAF-Houston ADDY Awards will be held on Saturday, February 2, 2013 at House of Blues Houston, 1204 Caroline Street. Festivities begin with fellowship and refreshments in the Witness Gallery for winning entries at 5:30pm. Supper will be served at 7pm. The awards show begins with a message from Brother Jimmy at 8pm. Visit for table and ticket pricing. Tickets must be purchased in advance. Deadline for ticket purchases is January 22, 2013. Valet parking will be offered at the event for $10. Tickets may be purchased by telephone at 713-237-9999 or by email at

Let the spirit move you—to the 2013 ADDYs.


Encouragement vs. Criticism

Recently, I was asked by a company interviewing copywriters for a project to "Describe a time you received useful criticism".

My answer: "I've never received useful criticism, only useful encouragement."

While some may consider that answer glib, it was an honest answer. However, it may deserve a bit more clarity.

In my career as a freelance copywriter, I have worked on many teams for different businesses. I have seen how the use of criticism and encouragement plays out in the work and morale of a team. It's my experience encouragement does more and goes further as a form of motivation and reward.

Criticism is negative. Criticism is never constructive. It cannot build anything. Its central tenet is to say "No". It tears things apart. It offers no solutions. It puts focus on the negative at the expense of the positive. Criticism thus justifies itself by making mountains of molehills, and finding problems where there are none.

—Like Sweet Brown say, "Ain't nobody got time for that!"

Encouragement is positive. Encouragement is always constructive. Encouragement directs people to future action. Encouragement builds personal and team morale. Encouragement gives confidence. Encouragement provides energy to do more. Encouragement finds solutions to any problem it discovers. Encouragement emphasizes positive traits while naturally de-emphasizing negative ones. Thus, negative traits dissolve, while never giving them any attention.

I'm not waxing philosophical or being theoretical. And I'm not saying look at the world all Pollyanna or with rose colored glasses despite any negative feedback. I'm asserting there is a subtle psychology at play that effects the way we work. I'm saying there's a very real and practical difference in viewing the world through a frame that emphasizes encouragement over criticism. Moreover, I'm specifically emphasizing a behavior that motivates teams to excel and pushes them to their very best.

Important! Please don't miss this point! People and thus teams have weaknesses. I'm not asking you to deny reality. I'm asking you to assert what you want. The point is never start with the problem. Start with the solution. Start with the wanted outcome. Always focus on what you want, NOT what you don't want. Most of us can and want to do better. Encourage yourself to do so without critique or equivocation.

I'd love to hear from you. You can reach me at

Jonah B Sanders

Jonah B Sanders

©American Advertising Federation-Houston, 2013. All Rights reserved.

Jonah Sanders
(713) 471-7519
Author: Jonah Sanders
Phone: (713) 471-7519
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