Creativity in Public Relations?


For the past couple of days in my PR Planning & Problems class with Professor Tom Hagley, we have discussed the idea of creativity in public relations. Creativity

My roommate is an advertising major and has spent the bulk of her most recent J-School classes drawing and brainstorming for creative pitches. As a public relations major, I have spent my time writing press releases, backgrounders, and more recently, blog posts. She uses the pencil to draw, and I use it to write. Is this what gives advertising the reputation of being a more “creative” field? 

I don’t quite think so, but I do think that there are different boundaries in these two fields that reinforce this reputation. For the majority of my PR Writing projects, there was a format, a specific way in which we were to convey our ideas. The examples were basic and in turn, so was our work.

My roommate has little guidelines. She was instructed to interpret the assignment in her own way and run with it. These are obviously two extremes, but it begs the question, “Is there room for creativity in public relations?”.

With the advent  of the use of so many social media outlets, public relations seems to be distancing itself from the classically formatted press releases. This gives me hope. While some PR practitioners likely have more creative license than others, I like to think that I am entering an exciting, constantly changing, challenging profession. 

In the world of PR, we can be creative with our words, our ideas, and our actions. Yet in order to do this, we must be encouraged. I have learned about how to write a press release and how to communicate with the media, but I would like to see more examples of the PR practitioners who have pushed the envelope. These cases would help me to better understand the creative possibilities within the field.

While we may not be encouraged to draw or brainstorm images, I believe that the realm for creativity in public relations is expanding with the diversity of the industry. I look forward to learning more about this topic as I become more exposed to the world of PR.


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