Top Tips to overcome mental blocks and develop a creative PR strategy
If you are experiencing mental blocks when you need to develop an effective PR strategy, here are some brainstorming tips to help you. PR professionals continually find they are up against the obstacles of time, effort, and creativity.
When trying to come up with an effective PR strategy for your brand or business, and you’re feeling stuck, use these three brainstorming ideas to spark creativity and give your strategy new life. You’ll overcome your mental block with minimal difficulty — and you could find you have put together your most impactful strategy yet.
1. Gather inspiration from trends and competitors
If you’re feeling stuck in a creative rut, don’t hesitate to do your homework and take a look at what’s popular in the PR world right now. One of the best ways to start is by checking out graphic design trends and using them as a strategic resource. Some of the latest trends include:
- Hand-drawn illustrations;
- 3D design;
- Geometric shapes;
- Environmental-minded design.
Obviously, every trend might not fit the scope of your business, so determine what works for you and jump on board. You can also take a look at what some of your competitors are doing to boost brand recognition and create a positive outlook for their businesses. Check out their websites and social media platforms. You’ll be able to see where they’re headed in terms of graphic design, and other aspects of their strategies that you can borrow and make your own.
2. Collaboration is key
Brainstorming is all about collaboration and bringing in fresh, new ideas. If you’re putting the weight of your PR strategy on your own shoulders and not involving anyone else to help or offer their ideas, you’re more likely to get stuck. You’re also more likely to feel overwhelmed and potentially burn out.
Work with others as often as possible. Collaborating with different teams has multiple benefits, including:
- Better communication
- Fewer errors
- Improved camaraderie
- Better efficiency.
You can either host unstructured PR brainstorming sessions with different groups or use relevant tools like Slack, Asana, and Google Docs to ensure everyone’s on the same page and can offer their ideas instantly. In today’s environment, where so many employees work from home, these tech tools can make a big difference in your collaboration efforts. They allow for real-time communication and visible changes everyone can see immediately, so you don’t have to worry about missing out on an important idea.
Not only is collaboration important for coming up with fresh ideas, but you can use it as an educational tool. Maybe you’ve held back on team brainstorming sessions because your team members don’t have as much experience as you’d like. The best way for them to get that experience is to get involved and get their “hands dirty” regarding strategies and projects. Take a leap of faith. Your team might surprise you in the best way possible.
3. Try new techniques
In the PR world, you can’t adopt the “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it” mindset. Much like marketing, trends change, and if you want to stay creative with your strategies, it’s essential to bring new techniques into your brainstorming sessions, even if that means they’re just new to you.
Consider storyboarding if you have a concept in mind but can’t seem to get it off the ground. Start by deciding what you want to accomplish, and create a timeline. You can use words, drawings, and ideas to move your story forward. If you’re collaborating with others, turn your storyboard idea into a game. Have people shout out ideas in short bursts to keep things flowing, and add them to your story until you reach your final goal. The great thing about storyboards is that they’re meant to be revised. Once you’ve finished, you can get feedback from others or listen to different ideas and adjust the timeline as needed.
Another fun technique is mind mapping. This allows you to put your main idea in the center of a space and work around it. You should create several extensions around the main idea that will help you come to a conclusion with your strategy. As you get started, focus on how, who, why, what, and when. Coming up with the answers to each category will pull you into your target audience and help you form your strategy based on what they want to see from your brand.
You’re only human. It’s normal to experience mental blocks once in a while. However, you don’t have to let those creative slumps keep you from developing fresh strategies. Remember these ideas the next time you hit a block, and it won’t take long for new ideas to come through.
Kim J. Harrison has authored, edited, coordinated, produced and published the material in the articles and ebooks on this website. He brings his experience in professional communication and business management to provide helpful insights to readers around the world. His wide-ranging career includes roles as a corporate affairs manager, consultant, author, lecturer and business manager. Kim has received several international media relations awards and a website award. He has been quoted in The New York Times and various other news media, and has held elected positions with his State and National PR Institutes.