There has been a lot of talk about Envy in the PressOne office for the last few weeks. We have a saying in Romania, “Sa Moara Capra Vecinului”. It means “I hope your goat dies too”. It runs deep in our culture and is a means of coping with all the disappointment in our history.
It’s become clear it’s no laughing matter: rancor and spite are exhausting. They compromise relationships and, what’s worse, they leave you feeling miserable. It is an aggressive form of envy that keeps us from realizing our potential.
So enough talk, time for action!
On Tuesday, November 6th, Mihnea, Trevor and I paid a visit to five editorial offices in Bucharest, and we chose to thank them by gifting each of them a personalized goat.
Our goats are statues as tall as a man – they look like the mother goat in the famous Romanian tale “The Goat and Her Three Kids”. They are made from fiberglass, with interior metallic reinforcement.
On the pedestals exists a text for each of the five media companies we chose in this campaign called Traiasca Capra Vecinului (Long live your Goat!).
To those complaining about the dissonance in the campaign title we say: it is deliberate. Let’s stop picking holes in things and let’s focus on the good achievements of those around us, essentially those we work with every day.
On the 100th anniversary of Romania’s Great Union, instead of celebrating with a serving of sausage, bean casserole and ribbon-cutting ceremonies, we thought something else may be appropriate. Let’s provide a gift to our rivals in a celebration of competition. After all, these are the people we watch and from whom we can learn a lot.
With help from our technical-tactical team (thank you, Trevor, Cosmin, Cristi, and Marius), we also made a site based on this idea, in the hope that others might emulate our small gesture.
With this campaign, we want to make you think about those whom you envy and who helped you become better or more competitive. Which means, in general, more appreciation for one another and less occupying our minds with the assumption that the grass is greener on the other side of the fence.
As Mihnea says: Things have gotten to the point where we are publicly acknowledging our values only if they are dead or if they leave.
Too often we are ignoring the people who are near us, who inspire us and help us grow. So, let’s try to be more appreciative of others – our friends, our neighbor, our competitor or even our rival.
Since we are a press business, we started with media enterprises, in the hope that we may touch a nerve in our social consciousness and playfulness.
We began the tour de force of the unveiling of goat-statues in the morning, at Europa FM.
Their goat is elegant and it balances two radio microphones. This is how the story unfolded.
Driving past the corporatist landscape of Pipera, we reached downtown Bucharest and found the earnest, but friendly editorial team of Hotnews. Their goat is dynamic, on roller skates, and carries a rocket-pen in the back. It turns people’s heads when they pass by.
The Recorder offices are close by. Self-titled “young in years, experts in the job”, our colleagues pursue honest and impassioned journalistic work, with a focus on subjects of public interest.
We should envy them for that, at least a bit, because this is our pursuit as well. Instead we offered them a goat videographer, to encourage them.
We hope they enjoy owning it and feed it with awesome subjects.
After lunch, we continued our tour and reached the dominion of the reinventors of Dacian wit: Times New Roman.
It was rather cold outside, so the guys went out wearing their famous fur caps and then went on with an enthusiastic Facebook live broadcast.
Although their slogan is “God, past over the Romanians”, we did not past them by. Instead, we gave them a smiling, positive goat who sits with its legs crossed.
The fifth unveiling took place at the Pro TV headquarters, where we were welcomed by the team of “România, te iubesc”, which we also love sincerely, without a trace of envy, because their reporting has valor and substance.
Their goat is a Statue of Liberty holding a TV set on which “Gândește liber” (“Think freely”) is displayed. The meeting was sincere and tremendously invigorating.
The gift-goats will be parked for a while in front of the five editorial offices, then they will be moved to greener pastures, in Herăstrău Park, so that passers-by are able to take a look at them. There’s an opportunity for selfies.
And, who knows, maybe they’ll go on a trip across the country, encouraging others also to love instead of “to loath” one another.