The honor of doing meaningful work


Much has been written about the importance of finding meaning in one’s career. While a paycheck covers the necessities of life, money can only make someone slog away at an unfulfilling job for so long. Work in communications can span a broad spectrum, and we at Imagine have reflected from time to time how we feel lucky that our work often brings us great satisfaction. While every project is different, each one represents a responsibility to do the work well, because it matters. Hitting on the right solution or creative approach for a client is an incredibly fulfilling moment for all involved, and it’s what keeps us going.

It’s no wonder why this type of work feels good to do. Recent research from the Brookings Institution explains many benefits to meaningful work: in addition to intrinsic benefits to their identity and self-esteem, employees who feel their work is meaningful exert more effort, are more likely to invest time and effort in training and less likely to call in sick.

Careers in marketing or public relations have sometimes suffered from negative connotations — television and movie portrayals have leaned into stereotypes about untruthful, slick ad men or harried spin doctors who craft propaganda and help crooked politicians cover up misdeeds. While this type of character is certainly more fun to watch on screen, the reality is that communications work serves a vital need across all industries.

This truth has become a bit more tangible to average news consumers, as we watched the ramifications of COVID-19 misinformation or fuzzy messaging unfold, and, likewise, see how lives have been saved with clear, well-communicated plans. From politics to celebrities, it seems the art and science of crafting and releasing an important message, whether a call-to-action or a public apology, has been in the spotlight of late.

Many of the projects Imagine has tackled are significant and purpose-driven, such as when the design and development team worked over a holiday to create an award-winning website offering COVID-19 information to minority and underserved communities; or the ongoing work we do for the unionized trades that helps underscore the importance of fire life safety, suicide prevention and mental health; or the efforts of our public relations and accounts services teams to get hard-working business leaders in the community the recognition they deserve.

Even projects that might not seem heavily consequential at first glance can turn out to be the most memorable. I worked on an article last year honoring a longtime member of the support staff for one of our larger clients. While she was not a CEO or a director of any department, in her 30 years on the job she had become a beloved repository of institutional knowledge and would be missed by all. It wasn’t easy to summarize her long career and explain how much she mattered, how she’d made a mark on that organization and industry as a whole — along with celebrating her passions, her dedication to family and her retirement travel plans. The staffer was overjoyed to read the published piece, and those who knew her said it encapsulated what everyone loved about her.

Will every project we work on save lives? Of course not, but knowing that one article will be framed and likely passed down to future generations produces both a warm, fuzzy feeling — and some pressure to get it right!

Because it’s meaningful, and it matters.

Celestia Ward is proud to be the PR coordinator at Imagine Communications and gets great satisfaction in putting forth her best efforts for clients in the form of articles, press releases, brainstorming or everyday tasks.


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