I spent my Bank Holiday packing up the house. Packing has to be one of my least favourite pastimes, along with maybe, queuing. Logistics, boxes, tape, years of collecting stuff you never use (anyone in need of a Land Rover roof rack, tables or cupboards, just let me know), what’s going to go where in the new place, how you factor in the kids’ needs (have you seen my Nintendo charger?), the stuff family have given you, things you need to give back to neighbours (and family), chucking, trips to the tip, the charity shop, cleaning, saying goodbyes etc, etc.
Stuff of nightmares. Brain Clutter City.
Amidst the (OK, semi organised) chaos, I was thinking about how, in PR, you creatively cut through the clutter.
One clever idea can cut through it all with incredible effect – just look back at any of the PRCA / PR Week Campaigns of the Year. So, how do you create ‘that idea’?
In some order (by the end of packing box 27), I’d loosely chosen ten:
- Be brutal with yourself and others about what a client wants to achieve, commercially. What’s the problem to solve?
- Then, apply monster early-day ambition. Client wants to dominate the news agenda. Visualise it. OK, let’s imagine the Queen in space, following it on social media. Imagine ambitious scenarios about the end result. This loosens the creative side of the brain.
- Apply the insight.
- Develop the strategic journey.
- Bingo – you have a loose path, the runway lights, a framework to develop the idea.
- Facilitate. This is important. Don’t be lazy. The facilitation can be simple or more orchestrated. But facilitate. Use simple or more complex techniques that open up the creative pipes. I have 3 or 4 I often use. And cheap chocolate.
- Be respectful of people and their time. Let them know you are. Atmosphere is important.
- Filter – I always find best to do post the session, as you are closer to 1,2, 3 and 4.
- Now really develop.
- Then finally, spend a lot of time thinking about how you’re going to tell the story. I’m a fan of strong visuals and few words. You’re selling an idea, not an essay and if you can’t sell it in 3 or 4 sentences, forget it.
So, creative is just that. But’s it’s also a logical process. Unlike my packing.