The Power of Being Integrative
Even though the word “creative” is not explicit on PR job titles, it is definitely embedded within its purpose as a tool. Creativity is not often perceived on PR pieces. Perhaps, it is not determined by a logo, typography or color palette. Storytelling is what truly defines creativity behind PR. The idea is to infatuate the reader through content, making it worthy of their time. It should be engaging and valuable. It should provoke feelings like passion, admiration and/or inspiration no matter the topic. Even products of basic necessity like body wash could develop the most creative ideas.
Writing is the primary vehicle when pitching and delivering the story but does it really stop there? The majority of successful PR campaigns are an integration of all areas within an Advertising or PR agency. For example, Old Spice body wash went viral after a week of releasing their campaign “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” in July 2010. The creator of this sexy, fun and well-produced campaign was Wieden + Kennedy, an advertising agency that transformed a brand recognized by 73-years old to the most engaging 30 seconds with “the man of your dreams.” Of course, the commercial wasn’t even targeted to men specifically but to their ladies. This is how they pitched a second campaign for Old Spice. Short and sweet, with sample bites of the final product. Isaiah Mustafa is the face (and body) of Old Spice, who captivated the audience through his confidence and charm — mostly personality traits, of course — and who obviously, had to appear on the second campaign.
Simple products can present many opportunities for thinking outside the box. At Moxē, cleaning and pest control can certainly become interesting topics and even entrepreneurial sources of inspiration. Services like these and SoFi, a personal finance company, can certainly encounter opportunities where to explore new trends like the popular “tiny kitchens.” Yes, literally, miniature kitchens. A concept SoFi chose to demonstrate that personal loans for home improvement projects can be accessible and “…how much better a life-sized version might look.”
Christine Zalocha, Director of Content and Social Strategy at SoFi, explained “If you start with the goal of entertaining people first, then audiences are incredibly receptive to the message you are trying to deliver.“Once again the integration factor comes into play. It wasn’t only a PR approach or a cute ad. It was an entire, well-produced campaign, transferred to social media in order to “… surprise and delight our potential members and then educate them about what we have to offer,” Zalocha stated. And it was indeed a creative way to offer a financial service.
Besides the entertainment additive, there are many other ingredients that can help boost creativity no matter the subject:
Planning. Creativity involves lots of planning. In fact, “planners remain the most sought-after type of creative talent…” according to Arun Sudhaman, CEO and editor-in-chief at The Holmes Report. David Gallagher, chairman of PR firm Ketchum London and CEO of Ketchum Europe, also supports these results by explaining that clients expect two different skill sets: “They want people who can identify insights and tell compelling stories across paid, earned, shared and owned media. But they also want people who can apply an uncommon perspective and help them connect the dots.”
Pretending more. Certainly, imagination comes into play when creating something new out of existing things. Pretend you are the reader or journalist. What would interest you more than anything? “Think beyond what you perceive. Is that stick a stick? No, it’s a magical wand that turns rooms into butterflies”
Laugh, cry or feel frightened. Helen Campbell, Founder of Campbell Brown PR, confirms that “if you can barely interview your case study for giggling or holding back tears then either you are over-emotional or you have a great story on your hands” Are the words transporting you somewhere else? How does it feel to be there?
Collaboration. The magic happens when all team members share their creative juices and mix them up. Today, the word “integrative” is becoming more and more popular among agencies because a campaign that transfers consistently throughout several medias, will most likely succeed when delivering the message and aiming its purpose.
One thing is for sure, there IS creativity in PR — without a doubt. It is only a matter of feeling it and nurturing it, making it fun and encouraging collaboration across all departments.