By Tawanda Carlton, Account Executive
It’s rumored that famous biologist Charles Darwin once said, “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” While the jury is out on who to attribute this famous saying to, the quote is powerful and speaks volumes to the current state of the PR industry.
Recent findings from a survey conducted by the Holmes Report on Creativity in PR revealed that 68% of PR agencies are approached by clients for “big and creative ideas” more frequently now than in the past. Being transparent, these findings are not as shocking as they are more of an action for PR professionals to evolve – and quickly.
Creativity has often been regarded not only as a central component in the PR and marketing arena, but also a competitive advantage. When giving it more thought, creativity can mean a plethora of things to a variety of people, however, what does it mean to be creative in the PR realm and how can we begin to reimagine our processes, ideas, and strategies?
Break Through The Noise
In our personal and daily lives, we are constantly bombarded with content, be it blogs, videos, email newsletters, ads, social media posts, the list goes on. Despite the increased influx in content, there are ways for PR professionals to break through the noise and stand out from the crowd. I’ve found that marketers have this down pat.
As PR professionals, we have to find a creative entry point to engagement. Our agency put this idea into action by creating an after-work event based around people’s love of apps and titled it, ‘App-y Hour’. Every month we bring together like-minded business professionals to share their favorite apps and create a dialogue around why we use them. We even have an app sponsor for each event and are able to create content such as video testimonials, email marketing material, and social media content from one monthly event alone. What we’ve learned is that the journey to enhancing your creativity starts with knowing your audience and meeting them where they are.
Master Problem Solving
The ability to problem solve is one of the first lessons I encountered when starting a career in public relations and to be quite honest, is a skill that is necessary for any profession or industry. PR professionals have to use creativity in this area as well. Learning how to communicate new ideas in a way that persuades and engages is crucial. When our team has an idea or strategy to share with a client based on their feedback or any pain points they are experiencing in their industry, we first have an internal brainstorm on the best way to communicate our ideas. This exercise allows us to flesh out a plan based on research, strategy, and our client’s goals. In the end, we are able to cater to their interest and present them with fresh and new ideas.
Enhance Your Skill Set
PR is evolving. These three words are becoming more of a reality on a daily basis. In the past few months, Media Frenzy Global has started to marry PR functions with marketing responsibilities allowing both teams to collaborate more than we’ve done so in the past. Initially, I approached the change with trepidation, however, in the last few months I’ve learned to embrace the shift. While handling content creation and media relations, I now also play an important role in crafting our monthly email newsletter, curating content for our social calendar and working on content for various marketing initiatives. PR professionals can no longer succeed at just writing long-form content and building relationships with the media. Our duties can no longer be siloed. Getting creative means stretching your skills. What you’ve learned on the marketing side of things can be used creatively in PR and vice versa.
Creativity in PR means getting uncomfortable and trying something new. Take the time to take on a new skill such as shooting video, learning photography, or graphic design. You will be amazed at how it can change your perspective and how you approach your day-to-day role.