Creativity in Public Relatoins (Book Review)

“if creativity was a mathematical sum it would read 1+1+C = 3+. 1 would equal an element to be used in the creative process and C = creativity.”

Creativity has always been one of those words that are hard to define. What is creativity? How do you look at something and decide if it is creative or not? How do you look at someone and decide they are creative or not? Must all creative people look like Andy Warhol? Creativity in Public Relations, the fourth edition of a PR in practice series, helped me figure out whether or not I am creative enough to be in PR.

Creativity is not just subjected to artist and musicians public relation practitioners are creative geniuses as well. Andy Green, author of creativity in public relations, alongside other ‘creative’ PR practitioner explain creative strategies and recount moments in their career’s when they were challenged to be creative.

The book starts out defining creativity and how different PR specialist look at creativity and being creative. He takes the time to set the record straight on popular myths surrounding creative thinking. My favourite part of the book is when he debunks myths like the “Big Idea’, out-of- the book thinking, and left brain vs right brain theory.

The next following chapters are dedicated to the creative process. He starts out by explaining the five ‘I’ information, incubation, illumination, integration, and illustration. He stresses how important it is for future and current PR specialist to have the five ‘I’ memorised. Then he talks about different techniques for stimulating ideas, my favourite is the snakes and ladders technique, and the importance of brainstorming. He separates the creative thinking into two categories green light and red light thinking. “Green lighting is based on creation, being uninhibited in thought. Red light thinking emphasises judgment, reason, evaluation, and whether things may or may not work.” Green light thinking is the first stage of the creative process, brainstorming. Red light thinking is the second stage, evaluating which idea is good for the company.

Creativity and social media, a hot topic in the PR industry, comes up in the book.  Andy acknowledges the challenges older public relation specialist face with social media. Even starting the chapter off with a hilarious story of Michael Bland, a leading crisis PR specialist, getting schooled by his son on how old Youtube is. He mentions the pull strategy, something a lot of millennials can understand. The importance of dialogue on social media, and how social media is a tool for public relations practitioners to see what people really think about their brands.

I would recommend this book to PR specialist starting his or her first day at a PR agency. The book is full of tips and strategies on how to succeed in a creative workplace. It classifies the different kinds of thinkers you are likely to meet, and how the approach is more important than the idea. This book is perfect if you want to turn your internship into a permanent job.

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