- 07 Mai 2015 |
- Dana Oancea
PR agencies need to start delivering more creativity and true innovation in order to stay competitive. One of the reasons why there seems to be little creativity and innovation in the sector is that it is not an easy process. Gabriela Lungu, creativity and PR international expert, believes that the more we internalise good creative processes, the bigger our chance to come up with creative solutions every time.
'PR vs. Creativity?', the first creative leadership book for the PR industry, expected to be published in 2016, is a call to action and a framework for PR agencies‘ creative rise. We’ve invited Gabriela to give us a preview of her book.
Gabriela, tell us about the book you’re writing - who is it for and who isn’t it for?
The book is for those who want to run a more creative PR agency or PR practice. For those who want their agencies and their people to produce better work for their clients, in terms of both creativity and effectiveness. For those who want recognition for their creative work and hope to be awarded for the quality of their ideas. They can be PR creative specialists, or they can be in the management of PR firms. They can work for big or small agencies, local or international. But they want more creativity – that’s a prerequisite.
The book is not for those who don’t see why creativity is vital for the PR industry and why original, brave creative work is needed for PR clients. I’m sure that someone someday will write books for those people as well. My book however will not try to convert the nonbelievers.
Could you talk about the first ‘creative’ steps that you’re taking towards this project?
Well, the most important part has been done – I have actually started writing the book. I’m currently talking to publishers, thinking about the design of the book – it’s an exciting journey. People can join me on this journey by following the project on www.facebook.com/prvscreativity or keeping an eye on the website www.prvscreativity.com.
Scientists tell us that people in a relaxed state and good mood are far more likely to develop innovative or creative thoughts. Does PR industry still have time to embrace more relaxation in the day-to-day work?
From my experience, the lack of time is not one of the biggest barriers for creativity in the PR industry. It’s true that one needs a certain environment for new ideas to flourish, but environment has little to do with time. Actually, time constraints (like other constraints as well) can be put to good use for idea generation.
Everyone seems to agree that ‘great storytelling’ drives great PR work. What does that mean to you?
Storytelling is one of the overused terms in PR nowadays. So many definitions, some better than others – it’s such a generous term, that it can be twisted to describe practically anything.
For me, there are many levels of storytelling, each with its own set of characteristics – there’s storytelling at brand level, at campaign level, at execution level... Personally, I’m a fan of storytelling at a more strategic level – I love when companies and brands are telling authentic and emotive stories through everything they do, not just in one of their little videos...
Beethoven would try as many different versions of a musical phrase before settling on the right one. Other great ideas seem to come out of the blue. Is creativity rather a gift possessed by a lucky few or more a variety of processes that everyone can learn to use more efficiently?
I have always had a very clear point of view about creativity in communications.
Everyone is creative. Everyone. And yes, creativity can be learned, and it should be developed. Still, not everybody is going to be a top performer in creativity. Like with any other skill, some people will just be better than others, no matter how much we train everyone. My question for PR agencies is this: whom do you bring to the game: standard, or top players?
Steve Jobs declared that ‘creativity is just connecting things’. How can people get better at making these kinds of connections?
That’s probably the subject for an entire book – a different book than the one I’m currently writing. But I’ll try to give you a simple answer, so I’ll say – quoting from the same amazing Steve Jobs – “stay hungry, stay foolish”.
As our industry and its main players get ‘older’, we become invested in the status quo. We develop habitual ways of thinking and routines in terms of how we solve problems. Which are the barriers to more creative thinking for the older agencies?
Probably the biggest difficulty is not acknowledging that there are internal barriers to creativity, being in denial. In order to have a chance at rewiring for creative excellence, we need to indentify those obstacles embedded in the systems, in the processes, in the current structures. That is why my book is called ‘PR vs. Creativity?’ – because sometimes, what makes us amazing at what we currently do, can stay in the way of what we should be doing in the near future.
My impression is that the creative process will never be easy, no matter how much we learn about it. Am I wrong?
I do agree. There is no true recipe for creative success. But I also believe that the more we internalise good creative processes, the bigger our chance to come up with creative solutions every time.
Anything else PR Romania readers should know about your book?
Yes. They should know that I’m proud to use my Romanian experience, especially the one with The Practice, as an important part of this book. The creativity of the local PR industry is remarkable and relevant.
And last, but definitely not least, they should know I’m thanking every one of them. I know they will be my champions during this whole process – they are already cheering for my book, and for this I feel truly grateful.
Interview by Dana Oancea. Copyright PR Romania. Photo credit: Gabriel Hennessey