Illustration: Oscar Ramos Orozco
Noun: The use of the imagination or original ideas, esp. in the production of artistic work.
Face it, guys. Public relations is an art. Don’t believe me? Well, get this. A recent study by the U.S. News and World Report ranked public relations as one of the top creative services jobs in the nation. So how do we consistently come up with creative campaign ideas and new ways to frame press releases, pitches and marketing collateral? It is no easy task, but here are a few tips to help you along the way.
Stop looking for the “aha moment.” We are always looking for the concept or tagline that will best express our client’s message, but in the process of doing so we often forget to relax and let the idea come to us. Menial tasks such as taking a walk or turning on your Pandora can allow our minds to wander, and as such, invite inspiration. Nancy Lazarus of PRNewser says that “creative solutions tend to come when we least expect it.” So sit back, relax, and let the ideas come to you.
Engage in group collaboration. I don’t know about you, but I don’t like to feel like I am in solitary confinement when trying to come up with a snazzy headline for an email blast. While studies have shown that people often come up with more ideas when alone, group collaboration has been known for not only generating more quality ideas, but also promoting company morale. Some PR agencies have even incorporated open floor plans to encourage more dialogue within the office and allow for a free flow of ideas. This mere act of engagement could spark your agency’s next brilliant idea!
Embrace rejection. No idea is a bad idea so jump in on a brainstorm session and build off your co-workers’ ideas. In order to work off each other’s ideas, however, you inevitably have to be open to the rejection of your own contribution. The twinge of pain you feel when your seemingly awesome idea is rejected will be a fleeting memory once your agency comes up with an effective program for your client.