Ashley Tymko, Account Manager
“I have an endless supply of award-winning campaign ideas! What is writer’s block? Inspiration just hits me at all times.”
In an idyllic world, the statement above is what myself, and I am sure every public relations practitioner wishes they would experience. In stark reality, creativity is relentlessly capricious. It ebbs and flows in waves and even the most seasoned of us can at times struggle to find inspiration.
Creativity can be defined in countless ways, but for the purpose of my blog, I am defining creativity as: “unique ways for organizations to evoke emotion and brand recognition among its target audience.”
I am often asked by my peers and those outside of the PR world how I continually stay creative for new and returning clients.
I thought I would share some key learnings that I’ve applied throughout the years to ensure I always put my most creative self forward.
Be authentic. This one is less of a ‘be true to yourself,’ but rather, more ‘be authentic to your client’.
Our clients work with us not only because we are good at what we do, but because we take the time to understand their needs and goals to authentically communicate their message. Strategy sessions are essential to building an excellent working foundation, but also imperative to getting those creative juices flowing with your client. We often bounce preliminary ideas off of one another to get a true sense of what they want vs. what they aren’t crazy about.
There is no such thing as a ‘one-size-fits-all media strategy.’ Learn your client, their language, their goals and desired outcomes. The more information you have on your client, the better you can determine what approach is best and find creative ways to solve their problems and add value.
Know your strengths. Know when you operate at your optimal creative level i.e. when you produce your best work. For me, it is first thing when I wake up. I quickly brush my teeth, make a coffee and hunker down at the computer and write. My optimal time is between 5 and 8 a.m. (as I edit this blog I peeked at the clock and its 6:05 a.m.) I often get (lightly) chastised from my concerned colleagues for sending emails and documents at 5 a.m. but that’s what works for me to get in my optimal writing headspace. This is the time I can pump out a killer press release or a thought-provoking pitch.
Be aware and make time or space to allow yourself to operate most creatively. It truly helps.
Our Senior Account Manager, Angela, needs to blast soca music to slay an amazing press release. Our Senior Intern, Nicole, likes to declutter and work in a clean space and our PR Assistant, Ottilie, loves to listen to Podcasts.
Get inspired! When creative juices are running low, don’t shy away from getting inspiration from different campaigns.
Whenever I am in a rut, I think back to my favourite PR campaign, the Dove Real Beauty campaign and its evolution. It is simple, evokes emotion, connects with the target demographic and is extremely creative in the delivery of its messaging. It’s a tremendously well-rounded campaign. So much so that it was pivotal in not only promoting their brand, but having their target audiences question their competitors’ marketing tactics. Its influence is seen heavily in public relations and marketing today. Just look at their competitor, Olay’s, new campaign.
So, when you find yourself spinning your wheels running through the same three ideas over and over again, step back and gain some clarity and inspiration from other places.
I asked around the office and here are a couple of our favourite campaigns:
“Creativity is intelligence having fun.” — Albert Einstein
The key word here is FUN. At the end of the day, being creative, brainstorming ideas and stretching the limits of what we thought possible is always invigorating. My favourite days are when my colleagues and I get together in the boardroom and tackle an issue together. It usually ends in a pile of giggles and us shouting out the most obscure ideas we can think of – but at the end of the session, we come out with solid ideas to present to our clients.
So even when you are exhausted, out of ideas or feel like you’re hitting a wall, turn to your colleagues for support and have fun with it.
Ashley Tymko is an Account Manager at Brookline Public Relations. Ashley has expertise in event planning, media relations, client relations and strategic planning. Ashley thrives in a fast-paced workplace where there are constant opportunities to learn new things and explore bold ideas.