After yet another email from a client, who is being shadowed by what I could only call a “younger brother” imitating his every move, I had to calm him down; “Imitation is the highest form of flattery and the lowest form of creativity,” I said.

The Art of War

What can anyone do, when you’re constantly being imitated?

If your marketing ideas are so great, is it any wonder that they’re being stolen, as soon as the idea is launched? That saying, “There’s nothing new under the sun,” is both right and wrong. When one’s not seen the idea anywhere else before, but it pops into one’s head, it’s an original thought. But, in all probability, it’s happened somewhere, sometime, somehow, at some point in time.

My client and a consultant did come up with a great event idea, but I told him…… “You’d better trademark this one, ASAP,” so your shadow can’t recreate it and take it from you. I do expect, though, that this shadow will create another event, and then trademark that one. When that one happens, and I’m trusting that it will, it will be just one more example of his shadow lurking behind our every move in the alleys of life.

I once said to another colleague, “It’s so frustrating to have everyone copy my every move.” She said, “Yeah, but they can’t pull it off the way you do. They don’t have your energy, entrepreneurial spirit, your know how.” I raised my eyebrows and thought, “Okay, I’ve yet to see anyone really clone me, so she’s probably right.”

Things that get left behind as projects I’ve worked on, including story lines, I only see the next people recycling the old standards set. There’s never an original thought that goes forward after that point.

But, back to my poor client who just wrote to me in ALL CAPS… exasperatedly…

All I can say for PR advice is, “Imitation is the highest form of flattery and the lowest form of creativity.” Or… “Often imitated, never duplicated.”



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