Confessions of an 'uncreative' PR
Ever heard of that personality test where you’re asked to select a shape on instinct from four choices: square; triangle; circle or squiggle. You then complete an assessment to see if it matches up with your choice. High level, squares and triangles are left brain, circles and squiggles are right.
A quick survey of those at the KBPR office just now and I’m surrounded by squares and triangles. Now, squiggles are meant to be the ‘ideas people’ and, as such, are the category you might expect us to be. But if us left brainers are ‘uncreative’, does that mean we’re in the wrong industry? Personally, I see creativity as an abstract concept, which brings us to PR.
Broadly speaking, there’s two kinds of PR – corporate and consumer. When I tell people my job, they generally tend to assume I work in the latter, presuming that on a daily basis, I might be dashing around trying to get polar bears on the tube etc., documenting it all on my Instagram live story (for those of you who don’t know what this is, I’m only one step less confused than you are). In fact, the sadist in me has grown to enjoy the awkward reaction when telling them the agency I work for specialises in pensions.
It’s not uncommon for people to assume that Corporate PR isn’t creative either, but it’s not at all true. It’s just a different kind of creativity to pulling off weird and wonderful PR stunts. I like to think of it as finding creative ways of getting an organisation’s strategic core messages across. Let’s face it, the pensions industry is mighty complicated, and arguably the biggest issue is a lack of engagement with members resulting from poor understanding. A number of our clients’ work is highly technical, so a big part of what we do is thinking creatively about how we can help people understand – dissecting complex messages and transforming them into something more easily digestible and engaging for a wider audience. This might include new business prospects who to some extent are already in the know, the media, or Joe Bloggs, who doesn’t even know if they’ve been enrolled into a workplace pension.
You don’t need me to tell you that the role of a PR is to get someone else into the spotlight, not be in it themselves, so some might say we miss out on the ‘glory’. But twee as this sounds – and on a personal level, as I can’t speak for everyone’s motivation - I find nothing more satisfying than seeing we facilitated a client, who otherwise might not have done so, get their message out there and see it sparking debate.
Incidentally, I’m a triangle. Apparently our overarching characteristic is that we’re ‘results people’, so perhaps there’s something to be said for that quiz…
Link here if you fancy finding out more.