The Creative Crunch

The Creative Crunch

“Curiosity about life in all of its aspects, I think, is still the secret of great creative people’”

–  Leo Burnett

A recent Holmes Report found that 40 per cent of in-house clients said that their agencies could do better when it came to their creative capabilities. The study suggests that PR practitioners overuse tactical techniques in the place of creative PR. Across industry journalists are criticising PR pitches for being dull.

So why do firms skimp on developing the creative? Lack of time and tools were the main reasons cited for discounting the importance of creativity in day to day work.  With a steady flow of diverse work and tight deadlines, the need to be creative can take the backburner for busy consultants. Another issue is workplace culture. Many firms pay lip service to a culture of creativity but fail to implement strategies to encourage creativity in the workplace.

So how can we overcome this? Click ‘play’ and read along.  When we hear new music it’s shown that our brain springs into action, firing up our emotional, memory and motor centres to help get the creative juices flowing.

Here are five other measures firms can take to help improve creativity in the workplace:

  1. A focus on employee diversity of backgrounds, interests, methods, and experiences, sets the foundation for the coming together of unexpected combinations of ideas and concepts.
  2. Paying attention to the workplace environment to find a happy medium between colour and clarity, silence and pandemonium, can help spark creativity. Online tools like Coffivity, which supplies a variety of background noises to suit any mood, can help set a creative ambience.
  3. The establishment of ‘Creative roles’ and expectation that every employee can be creative. Creative leadership reminds employees of the value and importance creativity brings to an agency. These leaders become mentors and enablers, nurturing employees to start to see themselves as creative.
  4. Dedicating time to creative inspiration. It sounds counterintuitive, but sometimes you need to put a process around creativity. Once a month share and discuss the best campaigns and ideas in workplace meetings. Look to industry newsletters for inspiration such as Adweek and Digital Buzz.
  5. Improved creativity training. Cultivating creative skills is an objective of every PR agency. Annual formal training encourages employees to implement tactics in their day-to-day roles such as: experimenting with genre, always carrying a notebook and pencil to jot down spontaneous ideas, always asking ‘what if’ in brainstorms, reading more, using mind maps, and embracing paradox.

Or, if you’re a visual learner, check out Buzzfeed’s video on boosting creativity.

At the end of the day there are no pre-packaged methods for achieving creative success. It’s about having a go, thinking big and prioritising creativity.


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