I’ve recently had conversations with a couple of clients and potential clients about the viability of creative ideas. And it’s been playing on my mind that there are PR and marketing agencies out there who sell on their ability to come up with fantastically creative and wacky ideas that, ultimately, deliver very little in the way of real business return barring one splash of coverage. So here’s a question for you: how important do you think creativity is when it comes to online PR and social media marketing?
The thing is, it’s actually pretty easy to come up with brilliantly weird and wonderful ideas, many of which look great on paper. I’ve written before (in an inventive manner) about how to unleash one’s inner creativity, and a quick company brainstorm can throw up some great stuff. But I maintain that most brands or companies simply don’t need the wacky stuff. What they need is solid, grounded, day-to-day activity, stuff that at BOTTLE we call ‘the fundamentals’. The creative concept is important as an overriding layer, but it’s these disciplines that deliver results to the bottom line over the course of any given financial year.
Don’t get me wrong – the big ideas are great for delivering a splash of coverage or a hit of publicity at an opportune time; a product launch or the introduction of a new service, for example. But then what? Coverage dies, and so do enquiries. Most companies don’t have the budget of Skittles to roll out one big idea after another, and so this is simply not a viable option. And yet it’s oh-so-easy to be lured by The Big Idea and the promises that go along with it, rather than a more grounded and, admittedly, less exciting approach. The hare can very easily beat the tortoise.
The skill in both digital and traditional PR is engaging people with creativity while focusing on core business objectives. It’s a slower-burn, but it’s one that reaps great rewards. There’s a time and a place for massive creativity and stunts, and we’ve come up with some corkers at BOTTLE. But the balance has to be right between creativity and implementation and, for some companies, implementation is more important. So over to you: how important do you think creativity is?
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