In an industry where you’re constantly expected to ‘think outside of the box’, PR professionals are often encouraged to be different.
But, does that really happen? What happens when you get stuck? That’s when creativity can help, and the creative input is inevitably required of the PR practitioner.
As communications consultants, part of the job is to be one step ahead of the client, and be ready for the next big idea. PR needs to keep reinventing work on a regular basis, for clients can vary from companies ranging from traditional family-owned corporations to PSUs to FMCGs, start-ups and so on. But, regardless of the industry, all clients look for creativity in their campaigns. So, it’s clear that it is important to strive to be very creative in the way PR professionals and PR firms work. They must strike ways and means to ignite their creative streak, whenever the opportunity strikes.
If you are a client, you can get more creativity out of PR firms. You should hire looking at creativity first, to be followed by strategic thinking. Look for occasions when clients contacted the firm for real business or marketing challenges; and, check out how they provided solutions. If they can spell out the interesting stories, chances are creativity is part of the culture. You should also pay a visit their office, for we do know how important the work environment is for creativity.
And, for the PR professionals, here are some tips to increase your creative quotient.
- Be curious.
Curiosity, killed the cat, but it is the main door that opens out the way to creativity. Be open to new things, new concepts, new images, new formats etc. Don’t always be complacent and accept the status quo. Always be ready to embrace change, especially in today’s changing times.
- Be observant.
You should make an effort to notice the small things around you, however minute, for inspiration is all around. Creative people are doing great things in the world of media and beyond. It’s your job to observe the environment, because the great next big idea could be out there, waiting for you. And, you can work on it very profitably, for your client.
- Don’t put limits on your work environment.
It is always a good idea to go beyond our traditional limits at work and look for new ideas outside the inner circle. Anyone or anything can give you creative inspiration. It may be just a quick, short conversation. It can help you bring out new ideas and let you break out of your routine, which is actually, the traditional enemy of creativity.
- Introduce someone new into your creative sessions.
This can be the key to creativity. Bring influencers or outsiders into your ideating sessions; may be, with new thought processes, you will discover that there are more perspectives at your disposal. You never know, these perspectives may launch you into a whole new world of ideas.
- Get into the mind of the audience.
In any campaign, it’s essential that you focus on who exactly is the intended target audience. Imagine – what will they be watching, reading, listening to and scanning online? This is what you need to focus on. Use insight to research the audience(s) and find out the key demographics and psychographics that you and your team should be aware of. By doing this, you’ll have a much clearer idea of where you need to go, and whether there are any potential limits to your creativity that you should be aware of.
- Step aside the rules.
That doesn’t mean to go amuck and break the law, but challenge the rules within your mind. No idea is a bad one – sometimes what seems an inane concept may turn into something brilliant, when you get into the brainstorming session. So, don’t hold your ideas back.
Having a more ‘fun’ and positive working environment will really help boost your creativity. It will also enhance the team work too. ‘Fun’ activities, like occasional games or even social events, can help team bonding and, in the long run, will also have a huge impact on creative ideas.