Everyone is born creative. As we grow older and use a little less of our imaginations, we stop nurturing our creativity. Finding the perfect outlet, especially in a job you enjoy, helps to foster inspiration. This is why embracing our imaginations causes passion to permeate any project undertaken, often resulting in exceeding expectations – and in the workplace, that’s a bonus.
Nearly every job requires flexibility and creativity to an extent, but it is especially useful in the realm of public relations and strategic communications. Imagination and innovation are key ingredients to telling a compelling story and differentiating our clients from their competitors.
Nowhere is imagination and innovation more important than when brainstorming. Kent Barrett, VP of the public relations firm, The Hoyt Organization, explains, “Our office has done exercises before, where nobody’s allowed to say, ‘No!’ or ‘the client won’t go for that.’ If the next person is going to speak, he or she has to actually come up with an idea that supersedes the previous idea. In other words, it’s all incredibly positive and anything goes. Ultimately, the last step of that creative process should be us asking ourselves, ‘What is realistic that we can actually get done?’ Oftentimes, you’ll find that by engaging in this free-associating process to begin with, that the final idea actually ends up being something you never would have considered to be realistic initially.”
Using a divergent process to brainstorm, coupled with abstract problem solving often leads to the best results. There are no bad ideas in a supportive, collaborative brainstorming environment – just innovative ideas whose purposes have not yet been found, or identified – these ideas are called Nearlings.
Using the techniques described above and coming up with “Nearlings” through vigorous brainstorming lets loose the creative forces. Lauren Howe, Associate Account Executive with The Hoyt Organization, describes the importance of moving forward with unique ideas, “Utilizing creativity for my job is really important, and I think it is in most workplaces. However, this creativity can take many forms – from finding new and exciting ways to pitch new business, redesigning your website, learning new communication styles, and more. Creativity isn’t confined to art or music or traditional avenues. If you aren’t being creative, you aren’t bringing new ideas to the table and moving things forward.” As Senior Account Executive for The Hoyt Organization Cinnamon Thompson explains, it is important to be open to non-traditional strategies which may help to secure a wider variety of media coverage.
Everyone’s unique ideas enriches the whole office, “Just because everyone does something one way doesn’t mean that that’s the way to do it. It doesn’t mean it’s right or wrong. I don’t believe one size fits all. And what each person brings to the table is unique,” says Amber Hergen Senior Account Executive for The Hoyt Organization.
Finding outlets throughout the workday helps to nurture an imaginative mind. “I tend to consider the aesthetic of things more than the average person, and that is probably because of my interests and hobbies. I think this helps to boost my creativity elsewhere since inspiration can be drawn from so many places, people and things. Creativity is important in the workplace because it provides a foundation from which to think outside the box. It allows a bad idea to be transformed into a good idea with just a little time and attention,” says Bill Hess Account Executive with The Hoyt Organization. Nurturing your creative side is not just important for work, it also helps you look at the everyday mundane a little more positively and have more fun in your day-to-day activities. “I definitely find that my outside creative interests keep me sane. If I go too long without playing music, listening to music, creating art or participating in art-related activities, I become awfully grumpy. I know that my outside creativity definitely sure spills over into my work and I’m grateful. I will always find ways to be creative in any job that I have – monotony is not creativity’s friend and I have no use for it in my workday,” explains Erika Snow Robinson, Hoyt Organization’s Office Manager.
In the end, creativity, imagination and inspiration are all rewarding, as it makes work a little more fun and a little less “work-ish.” “Creativity generates energy and builds a little more excitement than sitting in front of a computer day after day. It’s important to provide a bit of variety and allows for new and interesting things for people to work on as they move through their career,” says Leeza Hoyt, President of The Hoyt Organization. Using your imagination is the best part of public relations explains Pippa O’Brien, Account Coordinator for The Hoyt Organization, “I love the creative side of public relations – that’s one of the reasons why I went into it. We get to think of imaginative, compelling solutions for getting people in the media, events, social media, etc. so in a weird way PR is nurturing my own personal creativity. Attending events and pursuing digital and social media – all part of my job – help me be activate the right side of my brain and make my job something more than crunching data. The creative writing, strategic thinking, events marketing all make my job worth doing and keep me engaged.”