What is creativity in public relations?

The PR fraternity are currently tying themselves in knots about their creative worthiness.

PR people seem to have decided that creativity defines everything we do and that for PR to have a future we must compete in creative terms with advertising agencies, media agencies and digital agencies.

However, it seems to me that creativity within public relations is very different to many other marketing disciplines.

Within public relations creativity is driven by context and relevancy. PROs take real life events and create stories around them. Therefore creativity from a public relations perspective must be meaningful and thought out. Lucy Melling, Deputy Managing Director, MSLGROUP believes: “Within PR the best results are achieved when creativity is linked with insight”.

Creativity is an important part of public relations, and the type of creativity PR requires is far less brash than the type of creativity you see from advertising agencies and creative agencies. Nitin Mantri, CEO, Avian Media explains: “In PR we are looking for third party advocacy for our clients. We work with achieving engagement with our target audience as our end goal making the system a two-way process. Also, most of the times, it is about conveying the right messages about our clients and thus, consistency is crucial in the communications practice.”

I’m not suggesting the creativity of advertising agencies is inferior. Clearly that is not the case, but I do think the type of creativity required for successful public relations is very different to other marcomms disciplines. Therefore to compare one with the other, in my opinion, is not valid.

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