This blog is part of our PRedictions series, a collection of posts from PR and communications leaders offering insights, advice, and opinions on how our industry can grow in 2019. To view our full list of 2019 PRedictions, click here. Andy Green, PR creative strategist and Director, StoryStartsHere, predicts:
With 2018 being a year of immense uncertainty, one thing certain for 2019 will be the need to achieve more with less.
Being creative has always offered a competitive advantage. Now in a volatile, uncertain world, the need to grapple quickly and ably with complexity and ambiguity means you need agility, flexibility and creativity to be central to your performance. It’s not just the goalposts are moving, it’s the stadium and rulebook shifting as well.
How will creativity change in the year ahead?
The quest for big multi-channel ideas will continue. The age of digital convergence has created a hungry monster for content that works across different channels, meeting the needs of a greater variety of audiences.
It can be a hugely frustrating task seeking ideas that creates content that spans across different media, time and audiences. The trick here is to think bigger than content, but to harness more narrative-driven strategies. A narrative-driven strategy starts with the beautiful question of ‘What’s the big thing people care about that I can connect to?’
This then leads on to the drive to establish ‘Social Purpose’. Social Purpose is often wrongly defined as ‘How can we be good?’. Social purpose, however, is essentially about how we build confidence among others to trust us in order to co-exist, co-operate or collaborate. By reflecting and connecting with our authentic, daily-lived values will provide rich resources for communicators wanting not to sell but establish bigger relationships.
By creating this deeper connection you start to live and breathe ‘communities’ rather than ‘publics’, ‘targets’ or ‘audiences’. By thinking community, you have a relationship with a rich well of potential for collaboration, co-creation or co-production. Your best ideas in 2019 won’t be starting from your creative teams but from your creative customers.
You will not only be collaborating more with communities but also with technology. More use of tools, such as the excellent Answer The Public provides quick, easy ways to discover strategic insights or tactical ideas for your strategies and content programmes.
With greater collaboration and co-creation transforms the creative practitioner away from being the oracle of creativity to more of a creative curator and custodian, harvesting painting-by-numbers creativity, yet at the same time practising creative listening to hear new insights the others are missing.
And one other good thing about 2019 is, if your smart, you will be more likeable. The insights from behavioural psychologists and initiatives like the Dublin Conversations will be feeding through, becoming more mainstream in creative PR and Comms practice. Take the simple heuristic rule of thumb - identified by Nobel Laureate Daniel Kahneman. Even if we know something is not good we will still say ‘Yes’ if we like it.
Likeability is the key to emotional engagement. Getting people to like you more, living your band life with brio, will be the key driver to transforming your creative performance.
Here’s to a creative 2019. Fasten your seat belts and enjoy.