Creativity: The Secret to Success in Industries Like Marketing and PR
Formal education, technical experience, systematic processes…all of these things have a role in business, but it’s unwise to assume this is where success begins and ends. If you want your marketing or PR efforts to thrive, you’ll need some creativity.
The Role of Creativity
In a business world where objective measures and technical skills get a lot of focus, it’s easy to forget about the more subjective measures of skill – such as creativity. But when you drill down to the heart of marketing and PR, it’s clear that creativity plays a vital role in business success.
Without creativity, businesses would be bland and dry – lacking innovation and excitement. They may still turn a profit, but there would be nothing compelling about the brand’s image or identity.
Creativity is what pushes businesses forward and keeps organizations from becoming stale and out of touch with the marketplace. The problem is that many companies only have it in small doses.
Learning to increase the presence of creativity will yield extremely positive results.
Tapping Into Your Creativity
Every individual and organization has the potential to think creatively. Most simply don’t take the time to think about things in a new way. It’s easy to get trapped in boxes and assumptions, which create self-imposed rules and limit possibilities.
“We also tend to be overly optimistic that what seems to be working right now will always produce the same results,” PR Consultants Group explains. “It isn’t until we see a drop-off in business, a new competitor taking away market share or some type of business calamity that we wake up and try to start thinking creatively.”
If you’re interested in finding greater success in an industry like marketing or PR, there are some practical steps you must take. Here are a few tips:
Surround Yourself With Diversity
One of the biggest benefits of surrounding yourself with diversity is the fact that it enhances creativity on multiple levels. But we’re not just talking about racial or ethnic diversity – there’s also value in diversity of thought, experience, knowledge, education, and extra-curricular interests.
If you want to increase your level of creativity, you have to get out of your comfort zone. The more you’re around people who think differently than you, the greater your chances of sparking new and fresh ideas.
Change Up Your Environment
Have you ever heard of businesses or entrepreneurs taking creative weekends or “idea” retreats where they go away for a period of time and focus on generating new thoughts?
“My feeling is that these can indeed spur creativity, especially if they are held off-site. Simply changing the physical environment has been shown to significantly help creativity,” Michael Noice writes. “Moving outside the business’s familiar walls also helps brainstormers get outside their familiar thought patterns.”
Take a Different Perspective
One of the reasons creativity often feels elusive is that we continue to look at problems in the same way that we’ve always approached them. If you want to spark creativity, it’s best to take a different angle or perspective.
For example, try looking at a solution and then working backward towards the problem (rather than in the opposite direction). By flipping the way you view an issue, you give yourself the chance to see it in a different light.
Embrace the Weird and Impossible
When someone tells you that you’re thinking in a weird or impossible way, you’re probably on the right track. Being willing to embrace strange ideas in the pursuit of innovation is the true mark of a creative thinker. Don’t let others deter you from being a little outlandish in your thinking from time to time.
Remove Something Necessary
“Sometimes, the best thing to do to boost your entrepreneurial creativity is to take something most people see as ‘required’ and remove it completely,” entrepreneur Aubrielle Billig writes. “When you take away something you think you need, you’re forced to come up with another way to make that idea work.”
You don’t always have to come up with a revolutionary idea to generate some creativity. As you can see, it’s often about seeing things differently. Little exercises like these can change the game.
Find Your Balance
Proficiency in marketing and PR requires a clean balance of technical skill and creativity. As you seek results in your field, be sure you don’t discount the importance of the latter.
It’s nearly impossible to be successful without it.