Creativity at the helm of Public Relations

We, as Public Relations professionals, are often projected as the ones whose job is to magnify creative ideas developed by others. We have also been blamed of doing stunts and “planting” stories to harness media mileage. All this makes our profession quite thankless and non-appetising.

Public Relations is known for things like media relations, press conferences, crisis management, corporate affairs, events, social media, SEO, CSR, etc. But many PR professionals haven’t been particularly well-known for creativity.

Believe me, this is not exactly true. Yes, we do ‘plant’ stories which is need-based, but that task itself requires creativity. There is a whole lot of creativity expected out of PR professionals, and they do end up justifying the task entrusted upon them. Creativity in PR is about creating an engaging story which has a heart and soul and serves a higher purpose. In the contemporary times, PR cannot serve by merely providing media releases, conferences and events. It must be done creatively enough to raise attention of the target group and the stake holder. Creativity is the future of the PR business.

Creativity means different things to different people, and its reach can be wider and more varied than we might expect. It can be used by people in all types of organisations and industries. It can be used by individuals or teams in all areas of an organisation. Despite the diverse use of creative thinking and its purpose in idea generation and problem solving, there is often a preconception in public relations that creativity is just for the promotional side of the profession. This is not so. It has a vital role to play throughout PR. Every related activity be it product launches, photo calls, events, announcements or any other promotional activities, can be made to stand out more and have greater appeal to their target audiences and media if it comes with a degree of creative thought.

Creativity also has a role to play in many other areas of PR including strategy, internal communication, client and media relationships and crisis management. The development of a communication strategy and the methods that could be used to have an edge over the competition require a lot of creativity.

Having said that, anyone can be creative and creativity can certainly be learned, but to be a successful creative thinker, one must remember that creative thinking is difficult. There goes a lot of hard work with it.  Creative thinking can be difficult because often, when we start to focus on a specific topic, our brains tell us what we already know about that topic. The problem arises when we are not able to think beyond the already existing information, this becomes a huge challenge. A PR professional must be savvy for information and knowledge, only then they can be successful creatively.

Successful PR professionals are those who always carry an unsatisfied hunger for gaining more and more authentic information about their clients to be able to turn it into publicity, for which again creativity is a must. Only having information is not enough. What is needed is to be creative enough to turn that knowledge into wide and positive publicity, something that grabs eyeballs.

There is no limit to being creative, the key is to use it in the right way. Being a PR representative of a renowned brand is easy as compared to a lesser known or unknown brand. This second type thrives completely on the creativity shown by the PR representative. They can either make it or break it by the correct usage of creativity.

Ritu Bararia
A passionate Public Relations and Communications professional with a progressive experience of over 18 years, Ritu is an expert in the realm of Travel, Hospitality and Aviation. Her forte lies in strategising communication plans basis the essence of a brand with a strong focus on media management aiming to create focused visibility and awareness.

Some of her professional milestones include, setting up of Aviation Industry Group for CII, facilitating launch of India’s first Premium Airline – Kingfisher Airlines and establishing the brand in media as the official spokesperson, facilitating launch of Luxury Retail Brands like Porsche Design, Bally and strategising and executing launch of the brand Roseate Hotels and Resorts.

Prior to founding Little-joy Communications, Ritu was Group Head - Corporate Communications with Bird Group/Amadeus India.

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