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Creative Tips From a PR Professional

If you’ve been in a creative job for well over a decade then you may find that ‘groundhog day’ feeling of living the same campaigns and ideas over and over again.

From the ‘spooky’ Friday 13th headlines, to the ‘new year, new you’ mantra of January… it feels like everything has been done before – and to some extent it has, but this should not hold you back in your brainstorms and ideas generation sessions.

If you are trying to get something off the ground but feeling a little stuck, here are a few stimulants to get your creative juices going:

1) Start with images.

Cut out pictures from newspapers and magazines, or even buy some ‘flash cards’ and use these to spark your ideas. If you have a picture of an elephant at a zoo in front of you instead of a list of KPIs, you may feel that your creative thoughts flow more freely as you associate words and ideas with the images and allow your imagination to run wild.

2) Put yourself in their shoes.

Pick the identity of someone you want to influence and get your colleagues to do the same. Suddenly you are brainstorming as a journalist, a blogger, an MP, a customer, or the head of a charity instead of a team of PR and Marketing people who see each other every day.

3) Think about your senses.

Disneyland’s hotel in Paris smells like sweets; Goodwood Festival of Speed is filled with the noise of engines and the scent of motor oil; there is a restaurant where you can eat in the dark (Dans Le Noir) to allow customers a different sensory experience. Experiencing these brands is not something that is best described through a paper press release alone… There are other ways to taste, touch, smell, feel and hear a message.

4) Write the headline you want to see.

If you can’t write the story you want to see in the media yourself, chances are a journalist won’t write it either. Begin by writing the headline you want to see about your company and work backwards. What do you need to do to make someone write that about you?

5) Make people laugh, or cry, or feel frightened.

In short, make them feel something. If your reaction to your own project or campaign is, ‘So what?’, that is likely to be other people’s reactions too. But if you can barely present the idea for giggling or holding back tears then either you are over emotional or you have a great and moving story on your hands.

Now, where is that mood board…

Image Credit: Ladybirds via photopin

Written by:

Seriously passionate about all things PR, Helen has 14 years of comms experience. Having worked across charity, public sector, business, personal finance and consumer PR, Helen brings a rare fusion of academic thought and practical application to clients’ issues and produces solutions which are fresh, creative, contemporary and, above all, successful.

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