Creativity Can Be A Rare Commodity

Think Outside the Box © by Lel4nd

We have all seen a campaign launched for a competitor that is just brilliant and out of the box creative. You beat yourself up about why you didn’t think of that first or what you will say to your client or boss when the campaign is mentioned. You start racking your brain trying to think of what you can come up with to top it…and you can’t come up with anything.

With multiple clients all wanting the next greatest PR strategy, it is hard to keep the creative juices flowing. Creativity doesn’t happen on demand and it usually happens in strange places, such as the shower or at the dry cleaners, when your mind is elsewhere.

“Essentially, PR Pros are information junkies. We read, scan, touch, speak to anyone about anything…and we listen” says Sandra L. Brooks of BROOKSLACAYO. “Then we transform passive information into fresh ideas…sometimes there is a direct connection, other times there is no obvious reason why some tidbit sparked the idea of the day.”

Here are just a few ways to get your creativity batteries recharged:

• Get out in the field. “Being in the field allows me to talk to my audience and active journalists,” says Elana Scherr of Kahn Media. “Then I am able to gauge how campaigns are being received and what new trends are popping up.”

• Host a contest. “We have contests in our office for the most unique ideas,” says Jonathan Abramson of bluetone Marketing and PR. “We stay creative by having weekly brainstorm meetings when we try to come up with the most unique and strangest way to get clients publicity.”

• Meet over food. “There is something about good food and conversations that just gets people talking and coming up with great ideas,” says Brian Chandler, APR of Commonwealth PR. “It’s a relaxed atmosphere where team members aren’t afraid to be themselves and share their expertise.”

• Watch TV. “Pull inspiration from your interests,” says Meagan Feeser of Gavin Advertising. “Coverage on Cougar Town creators using social media to spread the word about their show could serve as inspiration. I’ve also taken event ideas form old episodes of Beverly Hills 90210 and Saved by the Bell.”

• Keep an idea book. “I have a notebook where I jot ideas that come to me in dreams,” says Leigh Steere of Incisive. “If I see an interesting photo, article or quote, I will clip it and include it in the notebook.”

“Creativity can quickly become a rare commodity in our business, as we often spread ourselves thin and can easily work ourselves to the bone,” says Steven LeVine of grapevine PR. “The way that I stay creative is by always looking for what’s new and fresh—something that will pique my interest and make me think.”

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  • http://www.m2sys.com/ John Trader

    Good post Linzy. Creativity can be a tough road at times, and these are all tangible ideas PR Pros can use to spark it up and let it fly. Love the idea of hosting an internal contest. There is something about competition that brings out the best creativity in all of us.

  • http://twitter.com/binarycara Cara Stewart

    Creativity can be elusive. My first career was as a reporter. I didn’t have the luxury of time. I HAD to tap every creative reserve to make a deadline. Now, in content development, PR and marketing, I commit to the same dedication. For me, urgency sparks creativity.

  • http://kellyashley.tumblr.com Kelly Byrd

    Agreed, staying creative for several [many] clients at a time, especially in different industries/markets is tough. Thank you for the reminder of these ideas. I keep an idea book-of-sorts, myself and find it very helpful!

  • ahines

    Creativity can be so hard to come by–sometimes it seems like everything you can think of has already been done! These are great ideas to help keep the thinking gears in tip top shape. I especially love the one about how the best ideas come when you’re not expecting them. It’s so true!
    One other tip I can add is to sleep on a problem after struggling with it for a while. That’s when your brain puts together new connections, so there’s a good chance you’ll wake up in the morning with fresh ideas.