Embrace creativity

Woman holding coffee cupPublic relations pro: Caffeine-fueled typist and story teller.

We spend a lot of time discussing tactics to reach bloggers and other influentials, the latest tools for our arsenal and how to make our campaigns more successful. What we lose sight of sometimes is the art behind what we do. So, I want to spend some time talking about how to make ourselves better. How we can better tell a story. How we can be a better artist.

It starts with creativity

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to meet some luminaries in the creative space such as John King, the mind behind the Beastie Boys “Paul’s Boutique” and the Fight Club soundtrack and DJ Spooky, an electronic music mastermind and digital media creator. During the time I wasn’t slack-jawed at the mental firepower around me, I spent some time thinking about the creative processes.

If we approach public relations as an art, it changes the perspective necessary to approach each task. Think about how you write a press release. Open Microsoft Word, start writing, check Twitter, type a few more words, check email, respond to emails, realize you committed to have a draft in 20 minutes, repeat…

This isn’t how most artists create. It’s OK to embrace your inner artist and get creative. We are routinely challenged to “think outside the box,” but how do we do it?

Embrace your process

Maybe it’s music. Maybe it’s taking a walk to the coffee shop, whatever it is that puts you in your zone should be done. But you should keep doing it. I’ve found that turning off some of the other distractions around me helps me to zone in and accomplish a task. And I think as PR people, we need to establish a creative process to put ourselves in the zone.

I’m not going to give you a “Top 6 ways to be creative!” post because it won’t help anybody. Nobody told Van Gogh when to paint. Nobody told John King when to dig in his record bins. Nobody tells M. Night Shyamalan when to cut a scene. And I can’t tell you how to be more creative.

My point is that being an artist is all about doing what works best for you. Finding your muse to keep you focused and producing content that represents your talents and abilities. Being creative is what we do. PR is our art. The word is our medium. Content is our canvas. Being able to weave a story in a pitch document or create a video that showcases our clients’ world-changing products is art.

Now, tell me what is your muse…

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  • Fleuredeflorida

    I'm happy that somebody has written/addressed the creativity involved in public relations/communications! I believe all types of writing involves some creative processes on the author's behalf. My “muse” or creative process is to listen to music while writing, and I also make a point to leave my office regularly and be among the people with serve at my org. (I work for an autism service provider agency and our office doubles as our community resource center so we often have classes, camp, etc. going on during the day) I really draw from my relationships with these individuals, and my relationships with our staff when I write for publications, media, or grants. I think it helps me be even more passionate about our cause (and have that passion show through my work) when I'm invested on a personal level in the people we serve.

  • I love that you refer to public relations as an art because after working in the field for almost four years, that's one of the many things I've come to learn and appreciate about this industry. Telling a story is much more effective if you take an artistic approach.

  • Here's what happens when I don't check in for a couple of days, people leave great comments.

    Thank you for the kind words. We are constantly charged to “be creative.” For me at least, it's not a switch I can flip. I have to warm up a bit.

  • One of the things that fuels me is the passion of others. If my clients are passionate, I want to fight that much harder for them.

    For you, I can only imagine the power they must give you in order to fuel your stories. This is a sensitive subject area, but genuine care and concern goes a long way.

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