Thursday, August 18, 2011

Never forget the value of creativity in PR

Working in school PR just like any other area of public relations has its share of ups and downs. As we start another school year I'm struck by the depth of planning, meeting, discussions, training, etc. that go into getting ready for the new year. It is easy to get caught up in all of the minor (and major) details of the week, day, and hours. Preparation, procedures, and planning will always be a key component for an effective school communications department.

But don't forget creativity.
I recently came across a cool post, 29 ways to stay creative, while stumbling through the web with the often-ignored StumbleUpon.

Some of its tips are solid reminders (or possibly new inspiration) for public relations professionals seeking to quench their creative thirst.

Here are my favorites from the post:
  • Get away from the computer - I'm guilty of allowing myself to be tethered to my computer and/or office. You need to be able to step away and unplug.
  • Get feedback - Listen, listen, and listen some more.
  • Don't give up - The same determination and perseverance we try to instill in our kids should be the same well we draw from in our professional lives.
  • Allow yourself to make mistakes - You can learn a lot from a dummy. You can learn even more when that dummy is you.
  • Go somewhere new - Maybe it's somewhere new for lunch or somewhere new in the bookstore for your reading. Get out of your comfort-zone.
  • Take risks - While you are out of your comfort-zone, explore and push boundaries.
  • Break the rules - Sometimes those boundaries can be bent or broken.
  • Stop trying to be someone else's perfect - While I wouldn't advise constant push-back against senior staff, I do think you can (and should) assert yourself when necessary as the organization's strategic communication expert. That's why you're there.
  • Finish something - Take that project from cradle to grave.

Bonus Tip: I'd recommend trying StumbleUpon if you haven't already. After you set-up a profile, it's a quick and easy way to explore, find, and keep track of creative inspiration or just things that are cool to you.