Creativity in PR

By Jamie Hooker

Creativity: the use of the imagination or original ideas, especially in the production of an artistic work.

You could argue that creativity is fundamental in public relations, just as it is in advertising.  The industry’s biggest challenge is being able to have your client stand out against hundreds, even thousands, of other companies in order to be talked about for free. It’s the “big idea” that will get you noticed, and behind each big idea is a creative team. Without the creativity element, your “big idea” may not be so big, or not big enough for the media, at least.

Let’s focus on that “big idea” for a second. What must it have to be considered creative? What about it will set it apart from others? A whole PR campaign can revolve around one idea, one strategy, which will take the client to the next level of recognition. The creative idea should be relevant to the audience that you want to reach. Doing the research and finding out how to reach the audience emotionally matters. What good is a big idea if the audience doesn’t relate? The creative idea should also be impactful, and should be able to make people stop and read about it because they’ve never thought of it before. Lastly, the creative idea should be original. After all, the word “original” is right there in the definition of creative. This may seem obvious, but it is important not to forget originality. The essence of a creative idea is that no one has done it before.

For some people, even some PR professionals, creativity doesn’t come as naturally as it may for others. There are lots of ways to boost creativity in order to produce great work, though. It’s been proven that taking a short, twenty-minute walk can help stimulate your brain, especially if you’ve been sitting at your desk for hours. Taking a walk can allow you to think of new ideas and help you tap into your creative brain. Brainstorming with a group of people or your team at work can also help boost everyone’s creativity. By building off of ideas your colleagues have and vice versa might produce ideas that no one would have thought of before. An important thing to remember when doing an exercise like this is no idea is a bad one. If you feel restricted and that you might feel judged for saying your idea, who knows what you’re all missing out on. A change in scenery can help creativity and give inspiration, as well. Maybe try to get some work done in a coffee shop or outside at a local restaurant, and see where you come up with your best ideas.