While many marketers, journalists, and writers gather up their year-end round ups and campaigns—each largely only differing in the assortment of inventory—a decade ago, the Bloomberg Businessweek team found a moment of truth within the structure: the jealousy list. It describes the premise as, “All the stories we wish we wrote this year.”
It’s a simple, bold, reframe that makes the structure much more playful, fun, and honest. It’s also very multiplayer; the Bloomberg team gets together to pay homage to their peers at other publications during the most wonderful time of the year. To introduce the debut jealousy list from 2013, Josh Tyrangiel writes:
In this season of relentless kindness, envy is often sadly neglected. Which is why we bring you the First Annual Jealousy List, a compilation of the great pieces of journalism in 2013 that left Bloomberg Businessweek’s staff sick with resentment. Besides functioning as a very long “Bah, humbug,” it’s also a useful guide to the best work of the year by our peers at other news organizations. May they all receive a lump of coal—along with the satisfaction of a job well done.
As a starting point for your next assignment—whatever it is—aim to reframe the angle or to find a new hook. You’ll be surprised how far even just trying will take you.
It never hurts to make a confession (or several); to start from a place of honesty, to aim to build a connection with other people. Every occasion is a chance to make something creative, and to bring the community together.