When I was little, the sky was the limit. I was one of those kids who liked to color outside the lines and had a great sense of imagination. I also believed that I would someday be able to fly just like Superman.
Now that I am a little older and a little wiser, I have a better understanding of what it is and what isn’t possible. However, despite the fact that I have matured, I would still consider myself a creative person.
Last year, The Holmes Report, along with Ketchum and Now Go Create, conducted the first in-depth study of creativity within the public relations industry. “More than half of all respondents described the quality of creativity with the PR industry as [either] ‘ordinary’ or worse,” the report said. When asked if the public relations industry has been criticized for lacking ‘big ideas’, 61 percent of all respondents argued that this was a fair observation.
Now is the time, as aspiring public relations professionals, to bring more creative ideas to the table and show the world what our industry is capable of. In order for this to happen, we need to:
Become masters of time
Regardless of whether we end up working in corporate or in an agency, time is a precious commodity that we cannot take for granted. In order to allow more time for creativity in our day to day routine, we need to establish priorities. Personal priorities, department priorities and organizational priorities all need to be considered.
In order to have more time for creativity, we need to not work faster, but smarter. For more information on this, check out a recent Progressions post that shared a few productivity apps that are “must-haves” for every public relations student.
Increase our knowledge of creative tools
There are so many tools and platforms that exist today to help us fuel our creative appetites. Adobe continues to improve its Creative Cloud and make it even more affordable for us students. Canva, another online platform, tries to make graphic design as easy as possible. Sites like Lynda.com provide training videos on how to use all of these creative tools.
Be willing to take more risks
Processes are meant to be followed and were created for a reason. However, that doesn’t mean that we cannot question and brainstorm ideas as to how to improve them.
We cannot let time, budget, or differences of opinion prohibit us from being creative. As Robert Redford, founder of the Sundance Film Festival, said, “Not taking a risk, is a risk.”
We may be students, interns, aspiring professionals etc., but we have ideas. Don’t be afraid to share them. Creativity will flow as we work smarter, so never stop learning and taking more risks.
How do you fuel your creativity?
Ethan Parry, 2014–2015 PRSSA vice president of public relations, is a senior communications major with a concentration in public relations and a business management minor at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. Feel free to connect with him on LinkedIn and follow him on Twitter.