As PRs, we are tasked on a daily basis to deliver ‘creative’ pitches, campaigns, events, content, display ads, videos – you name it. We are considered ‘creatives’ alongside advertisers, photographers, graphic designers – but it can be challenging to continually come up with great ideas that pack a punch and deliver a message in an impactful and thought-provoking way.
According to a study by Adobe, only one in four people believe they are living up to their own creative potential and 75% said they are under growing pressure to be productive rather than creative, even though they felt they were expected to think creatively on the job.
With that in mind, I’ve dug around the internet (to save you time) to find five methods for unleashing your creativity:
Make unusual connections – In the past we have organised media events linking the retro computer game, Space Invaders, to programming language, COBOL, to show how something considered ‘old’ can be reinvented to become relevant today. There is an abundance of cheat sheets to help you get your connections flowing but one of my favourites is from Idea Champions.
Listen to music – According to Daniel J. Levitin, a professor of neuroscience, music is one of the most exquisitely effective ways of allowing you to enter the mind-wandering mode – the state the brain enters into most easily to come up with creative ideas, without it being exhausting. At our office in London, we have a playlist for almost anything, like Motivational Mondays and Turn it Up Tuesdays.
Work on the fun part first –Google’s take on the Genius Hour is a brilliant concept. At Google, engineers are empowered to spend 20% of their time to work on any pet project of their choice. By working on something that interests you, overall productivity will go up. As a result, 50% of Google’s projects have been generated during this time period. We can all take a leaf out of this book to fuel our minds with something we are naturally passionate and excited about. Work on nailing down an aspect of your idea that you can’t wait to do first – who knows, it could snowball into something entirely different but amazing!
Watch inspirational visual content – Staring at your computer, struggling to think of an idea can be painful, which is why I tend to wander over to websites such as Pinterest, upworthy, lifehacker and Buzzfeed. There is nothing like looking at a visual listicle to find ways to bring your idea to life and make it more appealing to your audience. That’s why Pinterest now has 70 million users, and videos shared on Facebook receive 12x more likes than text posts and links combined.
Research your topic – Scour the news every morning and bookmark interesting stories. Read an analyst report on the topic matter and even your company’s product data sheets (genuine gold dust) to help provide context to your idea. This way, you can quickly decipher the true USPs and more easily piece together the messaging that will resonate with both your audience and your boss.
Outside of these tips our view here at Racepoint is that the abiding key to creativity is a healthy dose of curiosity. Intellectual curiosity is one of our company values and we absolutely hire by it (if you’ve met any of our staff you’ll know what I mean!). That combined with a serious passion for learning new things fosters a work environment utterly ripe for brainstorming, and it generates some interesting, unusual and fun results for our clients. Check some of them out here!