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Creativity is earned. Are we ready to earn it?

THE communication profession often claims to be creative. But what does it mean, and are we really focused on providing creative solutions for our clients?

Ingrid Harrison
Ingrid Harrison
1 week ago
Creativity a key point of difference

THERE'S no doubt every professional communicator or advertising agency claims to be 'creative'.

Regardless of size or style, of attitude or approach, it seems everyone points towards 'creativity' as a key point of difference.

With such a broad interpretation, 'creativity' seems to have lost its way. It’s become a buzzword that in many respects has lost its meaning.

For a comms agency to genuinely own its creativity claim, it must first earn that right.

It must show creativity powers its core from the team it hires and the ideas it creates, to the work it produces and most importantly, the results it delivers.


The past couple of years have shown widespread upheaval across our media landscape as newspapers cease publication, magazine titles fold, television and radio adopt syndicated models and journalists are made redundant.

We are not in the business of media relations any more. We are in the business of talkability.

This shift has seen an increase in campaign-based activity from comms consultancies, not dissimilar to what we’d traditionally expected from a marketing or brand agency.

These multi-pronged campaigns are designed to leverage all opportunities for brand visibility and talkability, through media relations, an owned content channel, social strategy, brand ambassadors or partnership agreements.

Big thinkers

To cut through the crowded media space, the onus is increasingly on consultancies to create newsworthiness.

To do that, we need to engage big thinkers who can dream up the ideas and campaigns that get people talking.

Looking beyond our own profession is imperative.

Nurturing creativity

Genuine creativity is grounded in the connection it has to the creative sector.

Consultancies should hire from a broad range of backgrounds and across skillsets, welcome journalists and editors, advertising copywriters and graphic designers alongside experienced account managers and directors. Even in a small market.

Tapping into a team’s artistic and creative sensibility will influence how a consultancy approaches campaigns and campaign delivery.

Inter-agency relationships

Historically communication consultancies and advertising agencies have worked relatively independently.

However, as the lines between earned and owned media blur and we seek new ways to generate talkability, more and more we're unlocking the potential of true creative partnerships.

We get better results when we work together.

Advertising agencies can leverage our nous to identify the communication outcome of an ad campaign or finesse an idea to develop the potential for earned media.

In turn, we should lean on an advertising agency to convey a message or make a point in lightning speed so that message or point lingers in a consumer's mind.

Driving connections

To become great at anything, practice is needed.

Connection to the most creative members of our community is paramount; hearing their conversations, witnessing their output and learning from their craft.

This hunger for new ideas, is what legitimises and distinguishes a consultancy's creative credentials and creates a significant point of difference.