In the public relations field, we are often charged to think outside the box – be it for a campaign, design materials or a blog post. As a professional, you’ll need to be able to generate exciting and new ideas; but creativity is a hard and intimidating skill to master. How can you force your brain to think differently? Well, here are some easy tricks.
Branch out from your reading – take a look at literature, creative nonfiction, newspapers. If you typically read one newspaper – like the New York Times – shake it up and read the Washington Post. Branch out.
Reading, in general, is a great way to boost your creativity. Unlike watching television or scrolling through social media, it requires active engagement and critical thinking. As you read, you are constructing images in your head, forming opinions and training your brain to concentrate. So in the end, reading won’t just help you become a more creative writer, but a more creative individual overall. You will learn how to hold focus, and to appreciate all perspectives and points of view. You will become more aware of the world. Read more.
Keep a notebook.
Multiple professors have repeatedly told me to carry a notebook. It seems silly at first, but you’ll find yourself writing more than you’d think. Throughout your day, write your ideas, the things that irritate you, new words that you hear and new people that you meet.
Your success in the public relations field may ultimately rest on your ability to generate new, insightful ideas – it is helpful to keep a record for when one arises. Also, consider writing regular journal entries. Time can be tight, but unloading your thoughts and ideas at the end of each day can facilitate a good brainstorming session.
Talk to people.
Even if you are a creative individual, you don’t have all of the answers. You’d be surprised how many great ideas are out there – and when you hear them, they will spark your own creativity. Vocalizing your brainstorming sessions with friends and colleagues will help you expand upon ideas and make them truly remarkable. You need those unique perspectives to bring ideas to their fullest potential. We see examples of this easily in our group discussions at firm meetings: good ideas become bigger, better and more possible.
So, don’t be intimidated by the prospect of creative thinking. There are simple changes to your lifestyle that can inspire you to be a more free-thinking individual, and that will help you with your career responsibilities in the long run.
Teghan Simonton is a sophomore with a dual major in public relations and journalism. She serves as the publicity chair for Waynesburg PRSSA and as managing editor for the award-winning Yellow Jacket student newspaper. She is an active member of Red Brick Communications and the Society of Professional Journalists. In her free time, Teghan is a member of the cross country and track teams.