THINKPIECE: Creativity and structure make for good PR. But when we rush, these are the first things we lose

’Everything is invention, and the need to innovate must be preceded by a sound comprehension.’ These are the words of Antonio Marquez, talking about Flamenco dancing.

’Everything is invention, and the need to innovate must be preceded by a sound comprehension.’ These are the words of Antonio Marquez, talking about Flamenco dancing.

’Everything is invention, and the need to innovate must be preceded

by a sound comprehension.’ These are the words of Antonio Marquez,

talking about Flamenco dancing.



’Discovery is in part seeing what everyone else has seen, but thinking

what no one else has thought. It also involves taking paths overlooked

or shunned by the crowd.’ Here, Charles Townes was talking about

physics.



’Redesign is not so much having a new idea, as stopping having an old

idea.’ John Gage was talking about science, but doesn’t this idea -

don’t all these ideas - hold equally true for PR?



What do the ’greatest professional dancer’ in Spain, the inventor of the

laser beam and the director of the Science Office of Sun Microsystems

have in common with each other and with PR? They all spoke at the

Zermatt Symposium on Creative Leadership in Economics, Arts and Science

this past January, where I participated in a panel that connected the

varied speakers’ contributions to the interests of the business

world.



Obviously much of what the speakers said was right on target with how we

should be thinking about creativity in PR. Many are lessons I’ve been

working to ingrain for years, but how validating to hear them echoed by

Nobel Prize winners like Townes.



In order to discover, one must look for new input. But how many of us

prefer to proceed with the information provided to us? How many of us

remain more comfortable doing things the same way again and again? Why

is the unknown path perceived as such a dangerous one, when it can lead

to untold new vistas?



And why, above all, when we are finally ready to innovate and ’invent,’

are we too rushed to take the time to dig deeply and really grasp the

problem we’re trying to solve? What is this race to find a solution when

we haven’t identified the problem? How can we attempt, as Marquez said,

’to build a house by starting with the roof’?



Part of the problem that prevents us from doing this is our deadline

mentality. We need to take the time to think through our problems, delve

into them, connect with their essence, and then our responses will be

significantly more creative and successful.



Creativity comes from structure. It is essential to build the foundation

first. We must define what is needed in order to refine our

thinking.



We gain that edge from ’applied’ creativity; creativity by application

solves the problem.



Gage said that ’small changes can have unexpected results.’ Let’s make

some small - but strategic - changes and see what comes of it: it may

not win you a Nobel Prize, but it is likely to get your ideas moving

more closely in step with your client’s needs.



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