by Maria Schomer
Maintaining creativity can be difficult and most people tend to believe they are not creative. This is not true. Everyone has a little creative nature to them. Kirk Hallahan of Colorado State University suggests that creativity is not passed down through genes; rather, people learn how to think creatively.
As an Innovative PR specialist I have to be creative every day, working on different projects, from creating messages and graphics for social media, to writing blogs and press releases. The question becomes: how is creativity important to public relations?
Working creativity in PR
Almost every course we take as part of the UCM PR Program requires us to think strategically and creatively. As future public relations professionals, we need to understand what our audiences want, what is most important to them, and how to communicate with them effectively. Let’s use social media as an example. Among other things, we need to know what will engage the public to participate in conversations with our company or clients. Using hashtags is a powerful way to do this to get things started, however, we need to think creatively about what the hashtag will say and how it can be communicated.
Many times people can experience a creative block, where the continuous flow of ideas instantly comes to a stop. Getting the creativity flowing again can be challenging. Larry Kim, founder of WordStream, wrote “9 ways to become more creative in 10 minutes” for Inc. Here are the four techniques Kim talked about that I feel are most effective.
- Draw Something. It can be doodles of circles or a tree. By drawing you are able to stay focused in meetings and your surroundings, this can spark creative ideas.
- Join Flash Fiction. Flash Fiction is a type of writing where you can write whatever you feel but in a quick manner consisting of about 100 words. When you use flash fiction there’s no need to feel pressure, you can simply get your thoughts written and ideas can start flowing again.
- Take a break from brainstorming and take a walk. Brainstorming can be highly effective to create ideas. However, breaks are needed sometimes, especially if a creative block occurs. Taking a walk can help ease your mind.
- Have a stress ball handy. Focusing on something other than the problem can help spark ideas. Having a stress ball or toy on your desk is good for a five minute break so you can unlock your creativity.