Friday, March 8, 2013

Get creative

Picture via Catherine Lane PR

Creativity is a word I have been hearing a lot of lately surrounding the PR field. Just last week, our PRSSA's chapter hosted a brainstorming and creativity workshop with Michael O'Brien from Ketchum. I was captivated by the power of brainstorming and the emphasis of its importance was stressed by O'Brien throughout the workshop. Together as a group, we came up with ideas for a real life client, which was both engaging and enjoyable.

In my PR case studies class, creativity is highly stressed and we are encouraged to think outside the box regarding various campaigns. Through my participation in Ketchum's Mindfire program, I am seeing that it really is quite often the most outrageous idea which catches the client's eye and ends up winning. 

This all got me thinking, is creativity really as valuable as my professors and advisors have made it seem? I stumbled upon a Time article that suggested that, yes, creative intelligence is indeed an indispensable skill. The article featured an interview with the author of "Creative Intelligence", Bruce Nussbaum. This is what I felt to be key points from the article:
  • Creative intelligence is "taking original ideas and scaling them into the creation of new products and services"
  • Everyone is born with the ability to be creative, but schooling beats it out of many of us
  • Creativity is making connections and seeing patterns
  • Creativity is social
  • Creativity is most successful in small teams
  • Nussbaum suggests conducting brainstorming through "magic circles" or small groups of people who are comfortable with each other
  • Ultimately, creativity is essential for work and life
Another article, published by Mashable, discusses how Google sponsors fun activities for their employees during the day. They believe that this "play time" fosters creativity and ultimately makes their workers more productive. Judging by the success Google has seen, I would have to admit that they may be on to something.

Recently, Thrillist, the company I did my summer internship with, was featured in Buzzfeed's "10 Awesome Startup Offices in NYC". The list contains ten successful, new companies who have brought creativity into not only their products and services, but their office atmosphere as well:

To see the full list, click here.

Although some people may not take creative or fun work environments seriously, happy employees foster success and I think there is a lot of logic behind these types of offices or "play time" practices. I enjoyed coming to my internship every day and I know that the other employees felt the same way. Sure, they worked long, tedious hours like the rest of the workforce, but got to have fun when all was said and done. Ultimately, working should be enjoyable and creativity must be present in every aspect. 

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