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News And Views

News & Views

  • 2 February 2015
  • Stuart Yeardsley

Creativity in PR - Putting Our Creative Foot Forward

The results of last year’s Creativity in PR Survey, co-authored by The Holmes Report and creative training experts Now Go Create, have just been published. Based on a survey of 600 PR people from more than 35 countries around the world, the report covers responses from agency and in-house teams, across a range of industries and sectors - and explores whether the PR industry is creative enough to successfully sway marketing communications budgets and develop game-changing ideas on a consistent basis. And the headline findings make for encouraging reading: 49% of respondents feel that the quality of creativity in PR campaigns has improved over the past year, and respondents ranked PR agencies above advertising and digital agencies in the quality of their creative output in 2014. Perhaps this is a result of the obvious investment in creative expertise in recent months: 72% of respondents said they had a creative process in their business - and the percentage of firms employing a creative director has grown by almost 10% since 2012. There’s still some way to go, though, with just 41% of in-house respondents describing the industry's creative quality as inspirational or good, while almost 60% see it as ordinary or worse – and only 18% are consistently happy with PR agency creativity. Creativity is so subjective and can mean very different things to different people. It’s not necessarily the agency that is not creative, it may be in the client’s eyes that the creativity is very different to that of the agency. Ultimately it comes down to the understanding and chemistry between the two - the strong relationship with strong understanding on either side really helps avoid getting into that scenario.A great example of how this works well was last summer: we wanted to bring Jacob’s products including Twiglets and Mini Cheddars to people in a different way. So we created a savoury ice cream parlour - because it turns out not everyone has a sweet tooth - allowing people to sample and trial Jacob’s products in a different way. The insight was born out of the cultural trend that people are mucking about with food in different ways and we looked at when they eat food, how they eat food and so on. The brand had heritage but needed contemporising to become more relevant to a new group of people.But sometimes it can be a mismatch. You can have very creative agencies that we in the industry think of as ‘creative’, but for some reason it’s just not working with that client. In other instances you’ve got very creative clients who want to be enchanted and bowled over but the agency just isn’t right. The full report can be downloaded from Slideshare and analysis from leading industry creatives, including me, can be read on the Now Go Create site.

[slideshare id=42556814&doc=2014creativityinprfinal-141210040424-conversion-gate02]