Capitol Communicator is running “Up Close and Personal” profiles of communicators in the mid-Atlantic. In this profile we feature Don Corrigan. Photography for the series is by Cade Martin, wardrobe styling by Pascale Lemaire and Sybil Street for THE Artist Agency; and hair and makeup by Patti D Nelson, Janice Kinigopoulos and Lori Pressman for THE Artist Agency.
Don, please provide us a short bio.
I’ve been lucky to be part of the DC ad community my whole career. Started as an intern at Earle Palmer Brown during the agency’s heyday. It was full of great people and a great place to grow up in the ad business. I found my second ad family when I joined Arnold DC as a senior copywriter. An amazing group of co-workers who made work not feel like work. When the recession ended our fun, I spent a few years freelancing and a few more at Wunderman before finding my third act at GMMB.
Are you involved in any other organizations?
I’ve never been a joiner – probably to my detriment. But staying on the outside is part of what I see as my job. I’m a professional objective observer who helps translate “client” into “consumer.”
What are the things you are most proud of?
To encourage parents to request specialists from Children’s National Medical Center, we created a branded ABC book to put in pediatricians’ waiting rooms – Dr. Bear’s Big Book of Doctor Words. The placement and concept were spot on, and working hand in hand with the art director and illustrator to explain things like allergies and DNA in ways even little kids could understand was a wonderful challenge.
Who are your personal role models?
I’ve worked with lots of smart people who’ve taught me so much. And not one of them would want to be considered a role model. Which may be one of the reasons I think back on them fondly.
Did anyone offer you professional advice that helped you in your career?
Nobody sat around spouting sage advice. But I learned invaluable lessons by watching all my co-workers: how they liked to work, how they carried themselves and how they collaborated with others. Honestly though, some of the most memorable lessons came from watching a few of my least favorite co-workers. Learning from their mistakes was a gift.
What professional advice do you have for others?
Learn where the satisfaction is. You can’t control clients or timelines or budgets or award show judges. But nothing can take away the joy of coming up with a good idea.
What’s on your Spotify and Pandora playlists?
My Spotify consumption is pretty random. I love poking around to hear new stuff or rediscover old stuff. Most recently, I’ve been listening to a sister group called Joseph and going through old Nick Lowe albums.
What’s your favorite restaurant?
I enjoy taking a late lunch and thinking through work at the bar of Bangkok Joe’s across from our office in Georgetown. Give me the Chicken Basil Kapow and a Singha and I’m all set.
Is there anything else you would like us to know about you?
Just that I’m grateful to be doing the kind of work I get to do with a group of smart, fun people at GMMB. Most people count themselves lucky to find one job that feels like “home.” In my career, I’ve found three.