I am unquestionably an introvert. I love people, and I love being around people… until it’s time to recharge. Then, I need to be alone. With a good book, hiking the trail near my home, or simply laying down and staring at the ceiling fan. I need to be quiet, turn my focus inward and regroup. Afterwards, I’m ready to be around people again.
Whether it’s dreaming up the perfect copy for a social media post, crafting a pitch for a key reporter, or strategizing how to report metrics to executives – the daily life of a communications professional requires a lot of widely-varied creative ideas and solutions!
Some days the creativity flows like a river and other days the creative process takes a little longer to get going, which is why I read two recent articles with great interest!
Creativity Isn’t About Talent, It’s a Mood
If you’re a fan of Monty Python, you’re a fan of co-founder John Cleese who – it turns out – is obsessed with creativity. This recent article describes some of Cleese’s best tips for setting the right mood for creativity which include:
- Creating a space/time oasis where you can get away from daily distractions and disturbances
- Sticking with problems just a little longer than when the “easy way out” appears… the alternative is almost always more creative
- My personal favorite: making mistakes because “while you’re being creative, nothing is wrong”
- Embracing humor, because it’s essential to spontaneity and playfulness, two key ingredients to creativity
- Keeping a light hold of the problem you’re pondering, as you’re likely to be rewarded with a creative solution when you least expect it
While President Obama had his fair share of scuffles with the media, they didn’t get the kind of attention President Trump’s school-yard battles are getting now. After several decades during which the media has lost trust, credibility and interest among Americans, will the new President bring back the Fourth Estate to its former glory?
I recently came across a Politico article titled: Trump Is Making Journalism Great Again. According to the article, there’s always been a quid pro quo in Washington, where journalists groom sources, but sources also groom journalists. “There’s nothing inherently unethical about the back-scratching. When a reporter calls an administration source to confirm an embarrassing item, the source may agree to confirm as long as the reporter at the very least agrees to listen sympathetically to the administration’s context.”
Looking ahead to a new year can be exciting when you’re crafting PR plans to support new products, big events, major milestones or exciting announcements. But, if you’re going into 2017 with nothing new on the horizon, don’t lose heart. There are still ways to keep your brand in front of the media and in the news!
Monitor for trends and breaking news
It’s always a good idea to monitor for trends and breaking news items that relate to your brand. This is easily accomplished by establishing Google Alerts relevant to you and having a list of brand spokespeople who you can quickly position as experts as the trend or news emerges. Now is a great time to freshen your list of experts, including their areas of expertise, current contact information and preferred methods of contact so that in a time-sensitive situation you can reach them quickly. Read more after the jump…
Millennials are a prized demographic for communicators – they’ve been analyzed and overanalyzed as companies adjust to millennials having more purchasing power than before or simply joining their workforce. But, it’s time to think about the next generation as they could be even more influential in changing the face of marketing communications.
Barb and I were recently guest speakers at a Regis University communications class where we shared insights on what we do at GroundFloor Media and how we got into the business. Most of the students were sophomores and juniors and really wanted advice on how to get into the communications field after college.
My colleague, Karla, and I recently had the opportunity to speak to a class of college students as part of a PR 101 class. The students, most of whom were studying communications with an emphasis in PR, were interested in how to get hired once they graduated from school. As we described what a “typical” day looks like for us, we also shared some of the critical skills that are needed to work in marketing communications today.
At GroundFloor Media, we often have team members work in house with clients to support crisis situations, provide interim solutions between new hires or to help cover maternity leaves. Sometimes it is just one day per week and other times it has been three plus days per week. I’ve had the opportunity to work in house for several clients over the years and what I like about being in house is not only learning about the products and services at a deeper level, but celebrating success on both sides. In addition, I believe it makes our agency team more aware and empathetic as to how to navigate the internal challenges our client contacts face everyday.
“If it bleeds, it leads.” It’s the adage that the news has lived by for as long as I can remember. But I – and I know I’m not alone here – get so tired of hearing so much bad news. Yes, there are issues and crises going on in the world that we need to be aware of. Absolutely. But there are positive things happening out there that we need to know about as well.