Creativity is the it word in public relations because it’s the one thing that differentiates campaigns – a campaign which you read about in all the media or an awarded one from an average campaign. A lot of articles and books have been written about creativity in public relations, and even blogs because creativity in PR (as well as in every job) is the driving force behind most activities. Visions and ideas drive PR because every company wants to be different and unique. Public relations are known for a lot of things – from media relations and crisis communication to online communication -whereas creativity is not commonly related to our industry. At its best, PR is considered to emphasize ideas which someone else came up with and use (spin) to achieve goals. At the same time, we’re witnessing more and more clients turning to PR agencies in the search for “the great idea” which would position them in the desired way. Designing creative solutions is crucial to find ways in which your campaign will touch the end user and encourage him to take action. Most people are creative and PR doesn’t lack creative talent.
…then where is creativity in PR?
Creativity in PR does very much exist, it’s just hard to recognize it in an industry where the word is the only weapon. Words are wonderful, rich and stratified but most people perceive the picture, static or moving. Furthermore, one word is fine, but a stream of words? Who has the time to read all that text today (sounds familiar, right?)! The key is the idea, and the best ideas can be described in only one sentence in order to grab your attention.
Creativity isn’t only crucial to pitch ideas to clients and to prove the worth of campaigns, but also to make our message break through a forest of other messages. That’s why it has to be an integral part of PR projects, and not just a sporadic outburst of ability of any individual expert in public relations. Creative ideas are often unconventional – they’re different, provocative and sometimes on the edge. Even if the client is not ready for such a step, it’s on us to design an idea that would prompt/stimulate a dialogue, touch people’s hearts and spark interest which will be more effective than classic advertising.
But, a creative idea is not created just like that. It supposes an atmosphere of collaboration between everyone involved, creating an enabling environment in which creativity is woven into the very core of the collective action, listening to the needs of the audience, detecting keywords that encourage dialogue, coping with the usually scarce resources (especially with time that is usually the most limiting factor) and, ultimately the good old storytelling at the strategic level and the project level.
Forget about copy paste, innovation is necessary to stick out of the crowd
PR experts were always successful at finding original ideas that will build our story. I’ve read somewhere (thank you to the author) a great description which says that a good PR person simultaneously tells the story today, has a clear vision of the future and writes the main chapters in the biography of the product, service or brand. It’s our reality and opportunity for all of those who neglected this aspect of their job a little bit. Creativity has to be in very root of this job and the measure of success for all activities with which we provide new costumers, friends and advocates to our clients… and ourselves.