Creativity is a main ingredient, not a spice!
Creativity is often considered an extra in communication. When we (agency, client) want something special, we say “this time we should do something creative.” Which is both wrong and restrictive.
Creativity is not an optional spice that you use only when you want some extra taste. It is a mandatory that you use all the time, if you want the recipe to turn into a tasty dish. It means a smart, special, new perspective on every piece of communication.
Creativity doesn’t always mean the big idea of the campaign, but also the small ideas in each and every step of the campaign. It’s in how you approach journalists differently than ever before, how you engage opinion leaders and consumers in an exceptional way, how you approach a media pitching differently than before. We mustn’t be afraid of small creativity if we want to reach the big creativity.
Of all communication disciplines, PR probably needs creativity the most. It’s our daily routine and high sense of spotting risk at every corner that makes us too down-to-earth, too afraid to take chances. But creativity is indeed about taking chances, not about taking risks! So don’t be afraid of creativity!
5 Rules to Train your Creative Muscle
Here are the 5 rules we apply each day at MSLGROUP The Practice, because each and every day we must train our creativity muscle:
1. Don’t be pleased with the first idea.
2. Know other cultures, domains, professions.
3. Research, research, research.
4. Don’t rush into criticizing ideas.
5. Don’t forget to connect creativity with the brand and the audience.
Creativity should lead to results
For many, creativity still means crazy ideas with no other purpose than to shock. No matter how suited an idea is, if it brings buzz and reactions from the public, then we should adopt it! Wrong again. We mustn’t confuse creative with sensational. There are so many unfortunate ways to mistake one for another:
Misleading mass media. Lack of connection between a wow-teaser and a completely disconnected revelation. Using risky pranks as creative gimmicks. PR stunts/ events with no connection to the brand or the brief objectives. Wrong endorsement, just to piggy-back on the hot star of the moment.
Everyone knows at least a few examples from above and everyone knows it doesn’t always end well for the brand.
At MSLGROUP The Practice, we believe in “Results through Creativity,” which is both our motto and our mantra ever since the agency was founded. This is what made us the most awarded PR agency in Romania. It is also what makes us work on creativity each and every single day.
No matter what your role in your organisation, keep in mind a few things that will make everything much easier and more rewarding:
• Creativity can be learned and nurtured, it is not necessarily a gift you are born with.
• In order to be creative you must want to be creative in the first place.
• Creativity doesn’t come out of the blue, it is based on keen observations, clever research and thorough documentation.
• A good, creative idea can come from anyone, so trust people.
• But a good, creative idea cannot be spotted by anybody. For this you need practice and good communication knowledge.
• Never give up on being creative. It’s the most rewarding role you have, it’s the one that will always keep you alert and enthusiastic.
• Don’t throw away ideas, even if they are not suited for the brief. They can always be worthy for a future one.
Watch the video highlights of our report: The Future of Creativity. Download the ebook here.
Oana Bulexa is Managing Director at MSLGROUP The Practice, in Romania. Over 13 years, she has coordinated multiple-awarded campaigns for over 50 clients, has been a juror for creativity competitions (Eurobest, Stevie Awards, ADC*Ro Awards, Romanian PR Award), and has been a speaker/trainer on creative thinking. Oana believes creativity should be the perpetual state of mind of every communications professional. Tweet her at @OanaBulexa