For anyone working in the so-called creative industries do you ever question whether you are really being creative? It was something I challenged myself with this week. I have just started an online course called ‘Everyday Creativity’ which made me think about when and where I am creative.
To start with I had to define creativity which sounds easier than it is. For me the key elements are problem solving, innovation and developing something new or unusual that has some benefits. It is a much broader definition than a purely artistic one.
I often feel that communication professionals get caught up in the day-to-day activities of work. They can get sidetracked by the processes they need to carry out and lose sight of the core reason that they exist. It can be even more stark the higher up the professional ladder you go. In the same way that good teachers become headteachers and then have no contact with pupils; good PR professionals move up the ladder and then become distanced from developing communication campaigns and plans.
This is how I often feel. I encourage others in the team to be creative but then often feel that I am becoming rusty and losing my ability to problem solve and develop innovative solutions. What can I do to counteract that or make sure that I keep honing my creative skills?
The key is to make sure that I can still become involved in the creative process. I want to ensure that PR colleagues are free to develop their ideas but it is important to take the time to get involved. I can easily get caught up on the process, policy and people issues which are all important. But creativity should not be neglected. If we really are going to claim to be part of the creative industries it doesn’t matter what are role is we have to find the time to be creative.