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Creative PR ideas

Author: Nicky

Twelve PR Co-founder

Are you looking for creative ideas, to energise your brand or engage your customers more effectively perhaps?

Did you know at Twelve we offer all our retained clients a new idea every month, to drive their PR and marketing activity and keep our work fresh and exciting?

These twelve ideas are in addition to the creative programme of work which we have agreed for the year, so that’s quite a tall order, to keep those fresh ideas coming.

A question we are often asked is ‘how do you come up with creative PR ideas’ or ‘how can we make ourselves stand out from the crowd?’.

Developing creative PR ideas

Our approach to creativity at Twelve is actually surprisingly target driven.  We believe very firmly in creativity that helps hit targets or meets an aim, to deliver a return on investment.

It’s lovely coming up with fantastic ideas that we all find exciting, or funny, or which are beautiful to look at. But really, how much will that idea cost to deliver and what will it achieve among our target audience?

My favourite idea is for a Cheese Festival here in Chipping Norton. Great idea (in my opinion) but not very practical for our client.

So how do we keep coming up with new, effective creative PR ideas every month?

  1. Start with the reaction you want to achieve.

We start by checking our targets, and clarifying what behaviour we want to achieve. For example, it might be that we want new mothers on average to low incomes to think: ‘That looks tasty and easy, I can afford it, I’ll give it a try.’ We build the brainstorming structure around that specific reaction.

  1. Understand the target audience

Totally immerse yourself in the life and world of your target market. Take our example of the new mum –  what’s her house like, what’s in her kitchen cupboard, what’s a typical day for her? How does she eat her evening meal, who does she chat to? What’s she worried about? What makes her laugh and smile?

We explore the target audience in detail, using our own knowledge but also interrogating external information such as surveys, market reports, news we’ve discovered. Our aim is to understand motivations and emotions, because we’re looking to inspire emotional engagement, action and reaction.

  1. Understand the communication channels

Next drill down into communication channels – what media does she (our target audience) consume, what does she read or listen to; whose opinions does she trust and value? Our idea has to be conveyed to her in some way, so understanding the channels we need to infiltrate or influence is key.

  1. Use ‘tried and tested’ brainstorm techniques

There are some brainstorming techniques that are well known and well used for a reason – they really do help.  So use some of these techniques, such as ‘new shoes’. For example ‘How would Madonna promote this product?’ or ‘If you were Lady Gaga what would you do?’ to inspire a different way of thinking.

Other techniques we find really work include ‘get yourself sacked’ and ‘scratch and sniff’ but you’ll have to give us a call to find out more about them!

  1. Build on ideas

Most important is to build on each other’s idea and respect every grain of an idea, wherever it comes from.

We’re a small agency at Twelve but we’re from all walks of life and ages and that means we have very different experiences and ideas to offer. This is so important when it comes to thinking holistically about communication challenges – that we can benefit from each other’s input and build on, rather than knock down ideas.

  1. Be like Shakespeare

Never mind Bill (this is a social media meme joke) Shakespeare is our hero. We’re celebrating his 400th anniversary this year; his words and phrases are part of everyday speech, his plays and poetry still move us today.  What greater reaction or legacy could be hoped for? Wouldn’t he make an incredible PR man if he were alive today?!

This is why we’re delighted to sponsor the Shakespeare events at this year’s Chipping Norton Literary Festival. The Festival is from 21- 24th April and we’re sponsoring two events:

  • Explore a Shakespeare Play with Phillida Hancock Friday 22nd April 20:00- 21:00
  • Learn a Sonnet with Jonathan Stebbings Saturday 23rd April 18:00 – 19:00

You can find out more about the Chipping Norton Literary Festival on its website

  1. Enter our competition

To celebrate the beauty and inspiration of a great idea and a beautifully crafted phrase, we’re running a competition to win tickets to the Shakespeare workshops in the Chipping Norton Literary Festival, and also one grand prize of a creative inspiration kit.  Just go to our Facebook page to take part

This kit includes some key ingredients for dreaming up blue skies and creative ideas:

  • soft, luxurious blanket
  • comfy cushion
  • the collected sonnets of Shakespeare

Creative PR  kit

With this creative inspiration kit  you could find a lovely spot to rest in, and who knows, perhaps come up with the most amazing idea… Because our eighth tip for how to develop a creative PR idea is:

  1. Take time out

Visiting places, seeing new things, talking to new people, just sitting and day dreaming are all good ways to come up with new ideas. We usually run our idea generation across a few days, so that the ‘exploration phase’ is carried out first.  We make time to go away and mull over the challenge, armed with all the information we need, coming back later to the ‘ideas generation’ phase.

Great ideas can come from working under great pressure and focus, but how much nicer to have an idea pop into your head while you’re sitting under a tree, having a few quiet moments to think, maybe even nod off… hmmm “ to sleep, perchance to dream”….

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