When was the last time you did something creative?
Well, you may start by defining your approach to creativity. To me, it’s something we learn from a young age, a skill we begin to develop with that first glue stick in kindergarten, and a skill we are constantly trying to hone and refine. In PR, creativity always plays an influential role in our marketing and public relations strategy. Clients are always asking, “I want some creative ideas for X project. What do you suggest?”
In PR, creativity plays a role in building a program or campaign that utilizes various pieces to implement a desired goal. Sounds easy, right? Often, though, coming up with a creative campaign takes a lot of collaboration, brainstorming, refining, and coming up with even more ideas. To find some inspiration, consider these tips:
Play with LEGO® toys. My creative activity this weekend involved playing with my nephew and building things with Legos. I was a bit rusty, but he was an expert builder and was thrilled to play with our old collection of the multi-colored toys. I quickly remembered all the fun I had as a kid building different buildings or cars out of Legos. I couldn’t find the red brick for my car, so my nephew handed me a blue piece with a hitch and said “use this one! It’ll fit on the end and you can attach another car to yours so you have two!” I had not thought of that. Who knew one piece could make all the difference?
Practice (or learn!) a foreign language. Some of you may know I speak Greek fluently, and many English words have their roots in the Greek language. This comes in handy when I’m trying to decipher long words like ophthalmologist (eye doctor) or spanakopita (goodness in your mouth), and helps me to think about words in a new way. Learning to think in a new language gives you a fresh perspective and provides new ideas for describing and delivering news about your client’s product or service.
Use and practice humor. One of the privileges of this job is that we get to share stories about a company, product or service that people may not have heard of before, piecing words those together to create something compelling. But the sequence of these words isn’t always apparent, and the most straightforward way isn’t necessarily always the best way to get your point across. Sometimes you need to inject a little humor into your writing. Take a peek at some of these witty tips from the Fake AP Stylebook (@FakeAPStylebook) – a primer on journalistic writing style with a humorous angle:
- Avoid orphans in your writing. Stray words at the ends of paragraphs are pathetic, as are grubby parentless children.
(Yes, a single line or word all by its lonesome is awfully pitiful and visually jarring. Help him join a family from the previous page!)
- To settle the ages-old newsroom debate: Draculas always beat Frankensteins. Frankensteins beat wolfmen. Wolfmen beat mummies.
(Duly noted. But who beats the Boogeyman?)
- Avoid overuse of commas, as our insurance doesn’t cover that kind of long-term care.
(Agreed. We just don’t have room for all these little fellas).
- Proclamations from the Burger King should be secondary to statements from the legally elected El Presidente Burger.
(Hear ye! Presidents are usually elected officials and have more governing power, while monarchs generally play a ceremonial role in most countries. So first quote the people voted into office by the people, then follow with a comment from the people who wear the crown).
These Tweets are from a band of merry editors and journalists called The Bureau Chiefs, who started this Twitter profile as a joke to share their humorous style tips. Read more about the Fake AP Stylebook in this month’s PRSA Tactics.
What are some of the ways you find and apply creativity in your life?