Creative campaigns: Five tips to take an idea to the next level

Written by Paul Stallard

In today’s incredibly noisy world, brands can struggle to be heard. As a PR agency, it’s down to us to help our clients stand out from competitors, and sometimes, that requires thinking outside the box.

Creativity has become more important than ever in insuring we come up with new, brilliant ways to reach different audiences more effectively. Often described as the “heart” of public relations, creativity is frequently used for big projects and has a role to play in many other areas of PR including strategy, content writing, problem solving, messaging and even crisis management.

Creative campaigns are meant to stray outside the usual remits of day to day PR activity which is what makes them different, thought-provoking and, sometimes, risky. However, risky or not, creative campaigns are extremely important as they can tell a story, reach a wide-range of people, spark attention and generate great conversations in the media.

It’s easy to come up with the same concepts for a project or a new campaign, especially if you’ve used them before. But when you’ve got an agency full of people with different interests and outlooks, it’s practically impossible for them to not come up with creative ideas when you put them in a room together.

As with all PR agencies, we want to stand out from the crowd, and being creative and coming up with ideas is the best part of being in PR. Brainstorms and creative sessions for all our staff is a massive part of agency life here.

Here’s our top tips for generating an environment where creative solutions can be born.

  1. No idea is a bad idea – don’t be afraid to think outside the box! A strong, creative idea can be scaled up or down as needed and can actually provide the starting point for a hugely successful campaign.
  2. Don’t reinvent the wheel – stay informed on what competitors, and even what non-competitive brands are doing, to avoid the mistake of repeating an idea. Be original, and if you are going to do something similar, make sure to do it better!
  3. Allow thinking time – silence does not necessarily mean there are no ideas, it could be that they are just being formulated. It’s important to create an open space where people feel relaxed and confident to bounce ideas off one another.
  4. Be visual – it may sound obvious but keeping track of your ideas is important. By writing everything down and seeing it on paper, it helps to whittle down and refine your thoughts. Often some can be combined, and it’s through this visual process that we create the basis for an idea.
  5. Be curious – ask as many questions as you like, whether that’s about the client, the brief or the project in question. Curiosity can often lead to unique ideas, and those ideas fuel innovation.
  6. Nobody likes to be hungry – Snacks, snacks, and more snacks will help to get the teams creativity juices flowing.