‘Spinach on my teeth during a broadcast slot was a lowpoint’ – Creative Q&A

PRWeek grills creative comms figures on how they got where they are, their career highlight, solving creative writer's block, and more. Today we speak to Ellie Scott-Smith, senior creative at FleishmanHillard.

‘Spinach on my teeth during a broadcast slot was a lowpoint’ – Creative Q&A

How did you get where you are now?

In another life, pre-PR, I wanted to be a lawyer. My internship with FleishmanHillard was going to give me more commercial experience before a law conversion. I then fell head over heels in love with creating and sharing brand stories. Couple that with the rush of getting coverage for these stories (a feeling that never gets old), I ‘cancelled’ law and have never looked back. After five years of earning creative stripes in the FH consumer and brand marketing team, I’m now one of FH London’s newest senior creatives.

What's been your creative career highlight?

Moving from part-, to full-time creative. I feel pretty lucky to work with people who challenge me every day to think bigger, better and braver. Working with Crocs to make ‘ugly’ cool is also up there – getting shortlisted at Cannes Lions and landing the brand’s first placement in British Vogue.

...and lowlight?

It was my first official day as senior creative; I presented ideas back to an account team and didn’t get the reaction I hoped for. Having previously sat on the other side of the ‘fence’, I was new to this feeling and it wasn’t the nicest. Since then, I’ve found that iteration only makes the creative and I stronger. That lowlight is closely followed by getting a client (and myself) on a global broadcast slot to find, after my very smiley cameo, that I had spinach in my teeth…

What's your favourite campaign of the past three months and why?

Every so often, a campaign gives me creative goosebumps and I’m unable to get it out of my head. I bring it up at work, to friends, family, my dog – pretty much anyone that will listen – so I can repeatedly talk about how brilliant it is. This month, EA Sports and the Kiyan Prince Foundation delivered such a campaign. 'Long Live the Prince' is a masterclass in using brand power for good.

How do you solve creative writer's block?

Sometimes all you need is another perspective – a Power 30 on Teams with one of the team usually does the trick. I also like to throw random ideas, phrases and thoughts at a ‘PPT wall’. Something always eventually sticks.

How should PR grow its creative prowess?

For me, creative doesn’t start and end in the ideation stage. It needs to be present in the entire process for the ultimate success. Creativity in how we approach the brief and planning lands a POV that makes ideation as exciting and effective as it can be. Creativity in execution drives production and a media strategy that doesn’t let the idea fall flat. The magic of headlines, impact and those goosebumps are found when the creative sparks fly from beginning to end.

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