Inspiration can spring from all sorts of places. When designing a public relations campaign, that inspiration may seem fleeting at times, considering that today we have access to a world of information and it can seem like nearly everything has already been done. How are you supposed to come up with an interesting campaign if everything you think of is a copy?
All you really need to find, though, is your PR muse. It’s not that there isn’t any inspiration to be found; it’s just that you haven’t found your unique way of expressing yourself yet. Every company has a unique perspective, and that means you have a chance to create something totally new under the sun. But where is your PR muse to be found?
Look to Your Heroes
When tasked with writing a new script, my writer friend will often take time to read lots of material. He reads lots of scripts of course, but surprisingly, he also reads novels and listens to music from artists he admires. How does that make sense? Shouldn’t he concentrate on great scriptwriting?
The trouble with that thinking is it restricts you. If you sit and think about PR all day without looking out the proverbial window once in a while you’re going to be stuck in your rut for a long time. Have you heard the phrase “if you only have a hammer every problem looks like a nail?” If you only see the world through public relations you’ll never truly be innovative in your campaigns.
So forget PR for a minute and look at what truly inspires and moves you. For example, take your favorite musical artist. Let’s say it’s Barry Manilow (I mean, who else would it be?). How would Barry tackle coming up with an innovative campaign for the office supply company you work for?
Go watch the last movie or read the last book that really blew your mind. Try to imagine how that person works, what makes them tick. Read interview with them to get an idea of their inner mind. How they operate could lead to a huge breakthrough in how you approach your campaign.
Like I said, inspiration can come from anywhere, and this includes your enemies! Opposing businesses can be a wonderful source of inspiration for all aspects of your business, and your PR is certainly one of them.
Not that you, by any means, want to copy what your dastardly enemies are doing. Straight up copying the competition can get you laughed out of town. However, there’s nothing wrong with “riffing” on the competition a little.
Surely you’ve seen a campaign that teases a different ad or PR campaign. The first one that springs to mind is the recent Camry commercial that shows OTHER commercials saying how their respective cars are “just like a Camry.” The actor in the Camry commercial says “Why not just buy a Camry then?”
Now those other commercials had their own great PR campaigns. Toyota decided to go a different direction and just riff off what they had done. It was simple and effective.
Where do you turn when you lack PR inspiration? Do you have a PR muse?
This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (http://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Download your free copy of the Beginner’s Guide to Writing Powerful Press Releases here: http://www.ereleases.com/insider/beginnersguide.html