Creativity in PR. Where to look for inspiration?

A light pen, communicativeness and openness, a desire for continuous development, initiative and commitment - these are requirements that regularly appear in all kinds of job advertisements for the position of PR specialist. Very often there is one more requirement among them - creativity. It is thanks to this that creating the image of clients is not merely copying schemes, and building a communication strategy, merely writing a dry document. The so-called open-mindedness is an indispensable quality of a good PR person. Ingenuity, however, can be learnt, and if you work in an industry that is called creative for a reason, it is essential to practice it. How to do this and where to look for sources of inspiration?

Write down ideas, sing in the shower, collect feedback, break rules, take breaks, try new things, be curious, surround yourself with imaginative people, laugh often, create task lists, watch videos, talk. You can find a whole host of hints on the internet about what to do to keep your creativity high. Although some of them seem absurd, there is a lot of truth in them. After all, the best inspiration for a PR professional comes from all aspects of life and the world around you.

Watch the world and peep at others

The truth about working in the creative industry is that it is difficult to put it into any rigid framework. It is not the usual eight hours, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Here you also work on holidays, at a party, going to the cinema or even in your sleep. Don't count on anyone treating this as overtime, but rest assured, it's nothing to be frightened about. The point is that inspiration for a PR professional is everywhere, and good ideas don't just come to mind during statutory working hours. That's why it's so important to be perceptive and open-minded. After all, the perfect solution for a client's image can also be stumbled upon during a holiday trip, and a topic for the media while watching a film or reading a book.

It is good to have a little fun, but it is also important to keep your feet firmly on the ground. It is important to keep your finger on the pulse of the industry - following marketing portals, social media fanpages, reading PR guides and advertising case studies. Keeping an eye on what others are doing is not only a source of knowledge about industry trends, but also a mine of ideas. For the same reason, it is worth following what our clients' competitors are doing. However, it is not about copying ideas, but learning what works well and what does not. Sometimes you may also be tempted to creatively develop an idea you have seen. It is just as important to keep up to date with what is happening in the media industry, to know their market and what topics they find attractive. A worthwhile professional bent of mind is to keep track of the lists of patrons on all kinds of posters or citylights.

Step into your customer's shoes and don't be afraid to have fun

It may not be easy if we are talking about a millionaire who takes his own yacht on holiday and flies to work in his private helicopter, but in order to find a valuable idea for the customer, you have to get under his skin. So what if we find what we think is a great solution, if it doesn't fit with the marketing strategy. In order for our ideas to be not only creative but also effective, we need to have a good understanding of the client's needs and the industry in which they operate. This sometimes means learning about areas and walks of life we know nothing about, but this alone can be very inspiring. The juxtaposition of existing experience with knowledge on completely new topics can produce surprisingly interesting results.

When working on creative solutions for a client, you need to know their needs, their industry and their product. With an open mind, however, you need to keep a bit of distance and slack and just have fun working on the subject. This is not difficult if your client's product has magic in the name itself. In order to find out how the interactive Magic Carpet from Funtronic works, you simply have to feel like a child for a while. It is even easier if your customer is the Ice Dream ice cream parlour, where everyone composes their own dessert, applying their favourite flavours of Italian ice cream and fancifully decorating it with sparkling and colourful accessories. Interesting threads can be found even when dealing with industry-specific and highly specialised topics.

To sum up the theme of inspiration in a PR professional's work - know your industry, your client's needs and industry well, but above all, keep your eyes and ears open all the time. In other words - don't be like that figurehead with the three monkeys, one of which isn't looking, the other isn't listening and the third won't say anything.


Text author: Michal