In public relations, and the entire communication field, creativity is a useful tool for taking a proactive and innovative approach to helping clients. Practitioners must adapt their style for a variety of clients and audiences to send an effective message.
However, creative theory is not something that can necessarily be taught in a traditional sense. In its very essence, creativity is non-traditional. For those who aspire to be public relations professionals and do not consider themselves creative, there are still ways to improve their skills and inspire creative thinking.
The first step is to be curious. According to Eisbrenner Public Relations, “Curiosity leads to unique ideas, and those ideas fuel innovation.” This innovation is an important factor in the new school of public relations, encouraging proactivity and success. When assigned a project, ask questions and try to gain as much information as possible.
Do Your Research
Deirdre Breakenridge, a predominant public relations consultant and author of several texts on the subject, suggests that practitioners utilize different types of data and research and brainstorm to include outside perspectives. In other words, to think outside the box, get out of your own box. Insight will help you pitch a creative angle for your organization.
While it may seem taboo, a very useful tip towards being more creative is to borrow ideas. Notice: borrowing is not the same thing as copying. You can take inspiration from tactics that other public relations campaigns have utilized in the past. You can pull ideas from things you see on TV, read in books, or see on social media. One of the most beneficial things you can do to become more creative is to just be mindful of your surroundings. Borrow ideas from what you’ve already seen. However, it is important that you put your own unique take on them and run with them.
To become more creative means to change your very way of thinking—to look at problems and situations in a new light. While the tips presented here are basic and simplistic, they are some primary steps to altering your cognitive process. Remember to always be curious and ask questions; do your best to see everything differently than the person next to you. Also keep in mind another helpful tip: to accept failure and welcome bad ideas. It is not realistic to think that every plan of action you imagine is going to be successful. Embracing the bad ideas is helpful if you learn from the mistakes.
Teghan Simonton is a freshman journalism and public relations major. She serves as copy chief for the award-winning Yellow Jacket student newspaper, publicity chair for Waynesburg University’s nationally recognized Chapter of PRSSA and copy editor for Mad Anthony yearbook. When she is not working in these positions, she is running for Waynesburg’s cross country and track and field teams.