Is there creativity in PR? There is a dedicated annual Holmes PR Industry Report on this very topic, and this important skill-set is a key team-building asset both internally and externally to organizations.
However, few public relations agencies would be able to substantiate what constitutes true creative potential or the “it” factor. While leading PR professionals would profess ‘if they’ve got it, I can immediately spot it’ — this does not begin to describe what is involved in the daily art form that comprises the creative public relations practice.
Once an agency wins the business on any given client campaign or official status as Agency of Record [AOR], the daily operations of liaising with talent both internally and externally comes into play. It’s no longer sufficient to create a flashy infographic or circulate branded content in hopes of a long stream of coverage, it’s necessary to be unorthodox not only in the idea stage but in the execution stage. This attention to detail and further tailoring of the message for each outlet will allow for a deeper stream of coverage as well as opportunity to manage client’s expectations, an idea that can be unorthodox itself.
Delivering results and confirming creative efforts with an account can be one of the most challenging obstacles of the relationship. What many PR companies may not realize is that they are being interviewed during the agency selection process not just as to how viable their business will be to PR, but as well as the talent attached to their internal team.
No reputable PR agency wants to assume the burden of a dysfunctional client or a negative work environment. It becomes the agency’s proxy duty in addition to weekly deliverables, to increasingly work toward efficiency, demonstrated press and marketing results — but also to lend a positive perception of their client’s overall business ranking. As the daily business press diagnoses, a positive work environment contributes to the bottom line.
So then, if delivering campaigns and creative solutions both internally and externally through cultivated management talent is the ‘secret sauce,’ what constitutes the positive attributes necessary to create this dynamic interaction? After all, fostering creative problem-solving could be seen as a complex recipe unique to each agency culture.
Instead, it starts with a 3-point character assessment, identifying desirable daily interactive traits:
- Natural predisposition to dream big
- But sensibility to think small and execute the idea
- Overall positive attitude
These seemingly simple identifiable traits are often overlooked. Instilling a creative vitality at your firm is at the base of big ideas and fosters the commitment to seeing a unique project to its finish. Having a positive outlook throughout is both a driver of the process and an outcome, a cyclical relationship that will inevitably lead to innovative new ideas and in-turn attract prospective, like-minded clients.
An ideal match between skill sets and a creative meeting of the minds is the desired working relationship, but more often than not, the agency is retained to educate the client how best to manage communications creatively and to train talent internal to their organization to ‘sing off of the same song sheet.’ This often requires organizational as well as behavior modification.
Attaining consensus is a process, one which a positioning audit may address on the strategic front, but on the creative side of the equation, might require a different methodology based on observation of individual and team interactions.
Because words carry tremendous weight if not power, the truth is that change occurs at the top of an organization. The ways in which leadership communicates drives dynamic opportunities for positive change.
It is increasingly important for PR practitioners to navigate the delicate yet highly strategic tightrope of cultivating talent both Agency and Client-side, a core tenant at Gotham PR for 12 years.
It would be challenging to find an account today whose priority was not sourcing exciting, innovative ideas and actions. Agencies who fail to recognize the importance of their creative capabilities in addition to tactical, day to day operations, will fall short of client expectations in the problem solving realm, as well as growing the brand and business into exciting new arenas.
About Courtney Lukitsch
Courtney, Principal and Founder of Gotham Public Relations Inc, located in New York City since 2002, is a media and marketing strategist responsible for hundreds of noteworthy brand launches and successful national and global marketing PR campaigns. Prior to founding Gotham PR New York, Courtney was Vice President for Business Development and Strategy at Rubenstein PR, Management Supervisor at PepperCom and Account Supervisor at TSI/Interpublic; all based in New York. With global experience in positioning, strategy, creative, retail and brand marketing, balanced with tenacity and a sense of humor, Courtney possesses ethics, problem-solving skills, a strong results orientation and solid dedication to profitability.
Photo Credit: gnsk