Creativity in PR, a Global Study 2013
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Creativity in PR, a Global Study 2013

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The 2013 edition of the Holmes Report's Creativity in PR study, co-authored by NowGoCreate and sponsored by Ketchum. Based on research of 600 people across more than 35 countries, exploring whether ...

The 2013 edition of the Holmes Report's Creativity in PR study, co-authored by NowGoCreate and sponsored by Ketchum. Based on research of 600 people across more than 35 countries, exploring whether the PR industry is creative enough to sway marketing budgets and develop game-changing ideas.

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Creativity in PR, a Global Study 2013 Creativity in PR, a Global Study 2013 Presentation Transcript

  • Creativity in pR | A Global Study 2013 In association with Co-authored by
  • Introduction Creativity in PR | A Global Study Creativity. Of all the buzzwords that litter the marketing communications industry, this one is more elusive than most. Even as persistent overuse and empty application conspire to rob it of all meaning, the transformative impact of genuine business creativity has never been more important. Hence, the report you are reading now. One year ago the Holmes Report and Now Go Create, in conjunction with Ketchum, set out to explore whether the public relations industry is truly creative enough to meet the demands of the 21st century. A world where citizens and activists can see easily see through spin and understand the true character of an organization, where earning attention, respect and, crucially, trust, requires ideas, innovation and courage. Last year’s report revealed an ambivalent view of creative quality in the industry. 95 percent of respondents, however, cited it as a key skill, with 89 percent describing themselves as creative. If nothing else, the result confirmed a disconnect between perception and reality, one that the industry must bridge if it hopes to assume a more central brand-building role. The second edition of the Creativity in PR study again brings considerable insight into these critical questions. The report polled 600 people from more than 35 countries across the world, helping us once again uncover some fascinating findings about the state of creativity in PR. Respondents came from agency and in-house, and from a range of industries and sectors. They answered a variety of questions during the three months the study ran during the summer of 2013, encompassing attitudes towards creativity; tools and skills; opportunities and challenges; and suggestions and advice. We are very glad to bring you the second edition of this landmark study, particularly after the remarkable support the first effort received. As always, we appreciate your time, thoughts and feedback. www.holmesreport.com www.holmesreport.com Arun Sudhaman Editor | Holmes Report One of the key reasons for co-authoring the Creativity in PR study is to understand what this much-bandied about word means and how it translates into real-world outcomes. To wit my favourite Ogilvyism: “If it doesn’t sell, it isn’t creative.” In at the PR industry sharp-end for over 20 years I had to be creative daily to win and maintain clients. The question I'm now most regularly asked is "How do you build a creative culture?” Depending on the problem, workload, deadlines and people, the same team can deliver inspirational creative work one day, and really mediocre work the next. I’m obsessed with the variables that drive a creative business. This year’s Creativity in PR study shows that: The PR industry overall is self-critical with 60% saying the industry lacks big ideas. Creativity in PR is fundamental to everyone but clients want better creative quality – only 18% of clients are consistently happy with their agency’s creativity. Budget has overtaken time this year as the key barrier to creativity. In 2012 the use of technology was identified as largely absent as a way to drive creativity and this continues as a trend in 2013. Creative infrastructure investment is relatively low - almost 90% of businesses allocate less than 10% of their budget on creativity – often far less. The hundreds of anecdotal comments show some old-school attitudes that pervade around creativity; that it’s the purview of a chosen few, that process is anathema and that unstructured group brainstorms will cut it when it comes to answering a brief. There’s a simmering frustration running through the survey responses – we’re as good as any other part of the marketing mix – why are we not recognized for our creative chops? In-house teams face different creative challenges from agencies – often small teams, repetitive problems, corporate risk-aversion, multiple internal stakeholders to sell ideas to. A senior client bemoaned the only time they get the creative work they want from their PR agencies is when they competitively pitch the work. I collaborate with talented agency PR’s and big thinkers in all sectors, whose creativity is hamstrung. As Matisse famously said: ‘creativity takes courage’. We need the collective confidence in our creative abilities (like our ad agency brethren) to ask for better briefs, more face time, better insight, more time! Then and only then will be the creative divide between what clients want and what agencies can deliver be bridged. www.nowgocreate.co.uk www.nowgocreate.co.uk www.nowgocreate.co.uk Claire Bridges Founder | NowGoCreate 2 | creativity.holmesreport.com
  • Contents This year's survey results confirm our worst suspicions; that even the campaigns winning creativity awards are not as creative as we tell ourselves, primarily because they are not as effective as they need to be. That's because, in our creative zeal, we leap too quickly and too blindly into solving a company's problem without first focusing on solving their customers' problems. Too many brainstorms focus on selling product benefits rather than magnifying audience needs and possible benefits. And we immediately limit ourselves as an industry if we think our creative mission is to purely earn media attention -- this has got to be our year to serve consumers and customers creatively -- by imagining and implementing solutions that go way beyond generating publicity impressions. As one successful creative agency looks at it, we must find our creative solutions at the intersection between product truths and cultural truths. Only then will PR achieve its creative potential. Pg 4.............................................Business Value Pg 10.............................................Ideas & Quality Pg 15.....................................................Barriers Pg 17.....................................Drivers & Definition Pg 20................................... Talent & Investment Pg 27.................................... Techniques & Tools Pg 33................................................... Appendix www.ketchum.com www.ketchum.com www.ketchum.com Karen Strauss Chief Strategy & Creativity Director | Ketchum 3 | creativity.holmesreport.com
  • Business value Creativity in PR is business-critical This year’s headline finding reveals that creativity is becoming an increasingly critical element in how businesses perceive PR value. In-house respondents were asked how important creativity is to their decisions to hire and retain an agency. The results demonstrate the premium that businesses now place on creativity in PR, with more than three-quarters (79%) rating it as 8 or higher out of 10, compared to two-thirds last year. Almost half (47%) scored it as 9 or more, while more than one in five (22%) gave it full marks for importance, both significant increases on the 2012 results. The findings belie the notion that creativity in PR is a luxury. Instead they demonstrate, once and for all, the indelible importance attached to creativity by in-house marketers and communications as a genuine business priority. Geographically, buyers of agency services in Asia and Europe are less concerned about creativity than their counterparts around the world. Predictably, creativity is a more important commodity in the UK (87%) and US (84%), according to the proportion of clients that rate it as 8 or higher out of 10. But there are surprises elsewhere. Australia, famed for award-winning creative PR campaigns, is only average, while Latin America and the Middle East score higher than Asia and Europe. 32.1% If you are in-house, how important is creativity in your decision to hire & retain an agency? 24.5% 22.0% 8 or higher uk LatAm 3.8% 10.7% Us middle east Australia Asia Europe 6 or Below 7 8 9 10 4 | creativity.holmesreport.com
  • Business value …but PR firms still struggle to prove their creative worth Are you happy with the creative capabilities of your agency? Yes, Consistently 17.8% 50.4% Yes, sporadically No, its a constant challenge Not at all 3.1% 28.7% Despite the obvious importance of creativity, PR firms continue to underwhelm when clients actually rate the creative capabilities. Just 18 percent are consistently happy with PR agency creativity, a marginal increase on 2012. Half are sporadically satisfied, while more than a quarter (29%), believe it is a constant challenge. In total, 32% of clients are not happy with their firm’s creativity capabilities, representing a worrying increase on last year’s proportion (23%). Client view Creativity is not only critical to selling in ideas to clients and helping prove the value of PR and its efficiency versus other channels, but ultimately what it will take to break through the clutter and get the attention of consumers in an increasingly more competitive marketplace.To me the solution to getting agencies to deliver more creative thinking is to remind and reinforce that there is always money for a good idea. I encourage my agencies to be reactive and proactive – if you believe in something or see an opportunity, don’t wait for us to brief you, be proactive and bring new thinking to the table throughout the year in an opportunistic fashion. Even if we don’t execute the program or idea, many times you still get credit for the thinking, which ultimately helps generate additional trust in you as partners and in the PR channel. Heather Mitchell, head of global PR and social media, Unilever haircare 5 | creativity.holmesreport.com
  • Business value Unsurprisingly, then, only 42% of clients are more likely to approach their PR agencies for big creative ideas today than they were 12 months ago. The remaining 58% either said no or said there has been no change. Compared with 12 months ago, are you more or less likely to approach your PR agency for big creative ideas? www.ketchum.com www.ketchum.com www.ketchum.com Firstly, creative work needs to be presented by creative directors. Just like you’d never put me in a room to sell a crisis plan, account teams should not be presenting the big creative ideas. Second, creative directors need to be core members of account teams, attending key meetings and tracking the progress of ideas and the client’s business situation. And last, we must continue to focus our efforts on selling ideas, not tactics. Clients want and should be ‘wowed’ by ideas. They want and should be surprised by amazing thinking. If we don’t deliver on that, we won’t be consulted for big creative ideas. Marc Levy, Director of Strategic and Creative Planning, Ketchum New York Yes There has been no change No 17.7% 40.5% 41.8% 6 | creativity.holmesreport.com
  • Business value Where do PR firms rank? In-house respondents were asked to rank the creative quality of their various agencies, with PR firms ranking behind advertising and digital agencies, but ahead of media and experiential. The results suggest one of two things. First, that the creative gap between the PR world and adland may not be quite as big as anyone thinks or, second, that PR scored higher because the survey was undertaken by more comms directors than senior marketers. Please rank the creative quality of your various agencies 1 2 3 4 5 Advertising Agency Digital Agency PR Agency Media Agency Experiential Agency 7 | creativity.holmesreport.com
  • Business value Room for improvement Clients: Which are the most important areas in which your PR firms need to improve their creative quality? Paid Media 4.0% Stunts/ 7.4% experiential Owned 8.1% media Realtime 10.7% Marketing Quality of creative personnel 31.5% Media relations 38.9% Insight/planning 40.3% storytelling 44.3% While clients might be unsatisfied with PR agency creativity, there is more encouragement to be found in the areas where firms can improve. 61 percent each cited content and integrated ideas, both areas where smart PR firms should already be able to make a difference. Other areas that are ripe for creative improvement: Storytelling (44%), insight/planning (40%), media relations (39%) and, significantly, in the quality of their creative people (31.5%). Also of note, hardly any clients are looking for PR firms to be improve creativity in terms of paid media (4%) or even owned media (9%). Integrated ideas 61.1% Content creation & marketing 61.1% 8 | creativity.holmesreport.com
  • Business value Assessment The dissatisfaction is not all one-way traffic. Disturbingly, agencies report an increase in clients that either have no set process for assessing creativity or do not assess it at all (41 percent vs 37 percent last year). Once again, agency creativity is most often assessed as part of client satisfaction (36.4%). www.ketchum.com www.ketchum.com www.ketchum.com Agencies : Do clients assess your creative effort? Yes Yes, as Somepart of times, client but there satis- is no set faction process 17.6% 18.9% No 6.5% 6.9% Don’t know 3.1% 4.8% 2012 2013 Co-creation between agency and client will be the key driver for more creativity in PR. There are communications experts sitting on both sides – the agency and the client. A new generation of clients won’t wait until the creative agency team has baked up an idea for presentation. They want and should be part of the ideation process to shape ideas from the beginning. Petra Sammer, Chief Creative Officer, Ketchum Germany 29.9% 36.4% 41.6% 34.3% 9 | creativity.holmesreport.com
  • Ideas & Quality The client-agency divide extends to overall perceptions of quality and ideas in the PR industry, demonstrating a much less favourable view from those on the in-house side of the equation. Broadly speaking, opinions of creative quality within the PR industry have not shifted much over the past 12 months, demonstrating that ambivalence persists. Once again, more than half describe it as ‘ordinary’ or worse. 40% say it is good and just 7% label it ‘inspirational’. One in 10 describe it as ‘unsatisfactory’. How would you describe the quality of creativity in the PR industry? POor 4.4% UNsatis- Ordinary factory Good Inspira tional 5.6% 9.6% 39.2% 37.7% 10 | creativity.holmesreport.com
  • Ideas & Quality “Really depends on the sector. However, when I look at ‘award-winning’ campaigns — they all seems to recycle the same ideas over and over.” In-house, US 2.4% 4.7 % “Good but needs to get much better - more interconnected and bolder.” Agency, France Clients: how would you describe the quality of creativity in the PR industry? 47.2% Significantly, clients have a considerably more jaundiced view of creative quality than their agency brethren. Just 39% describe it as inspirational or good, while more than 60 percent see it as ordinary or worse. Once again, it appears that agencies are falling down in their quest to prove to clients that they have the necessary creative credentials for today’s engagement environment. 34 .6% “In our region (MENA) clients like the idea of creativity but in the end refuse to allow agencies to do anything creative. This is because, in most cases, in-house corp comms people have less experience and far less imagination. PR for global brands is very often generated in Europe, North America or the Far East and issued in a command and control fashion.” Agency, Qatar. .0% 1 1 poor Inspirational Unsatisfactory Good ordinary 11 | creativity.holmesreport.com
  • Stagnant Quality Ideas &thinking? Stagnant thinking? Over the past 12 months, do you feel that the quality of creativity in PR campaigns has improved? 38.8% 33.1% 28.1% Further clarity is provided when respondents are asked whether they think the quality of creativity in PR campaigns has improved over the past year. 61% disagree that it has, suggesting that there are no quick-fix solutions to raising creative standards. Respondents in Anglo-Saxon markets — Australia (56%), the UK (54%) and US (50%) — held the most favourable view of creative quality, with Asia (38%) some distance behind. Asia LatAm Middle East & africa Europe no change Us no Uk Yes Australia Inspirational or good 12 | creativity.holmesreport.com
  • Stagnant Quality Ideas &thinking? Again, clients are even less convinced that quality is improving; just 26% agree with that statement. Clients: Over the past 12 months, do you feel the quality of creativity in PR campaigns has improved? Latin American respondents (71%) are least likely to see an increase in creative quality, followed by US (69%) and UK (66%). Australia stands out, with just 59% disagreeing with the notion that the quality of creativity in PR has improved over the past year. 74.2% www.ketchum.com www.ketchum.com Disagree Australia Middle East & africa Asia Europe Uk Us LatAm www.ketchum.com The issue that comes to mind here is ‘diligence.’ Creativity shouldn’t be transactional — if we’re only delivering ideas for the client when they ask for them, we’re doing it wrong. Agencies should be delivering a steady stream of creative ideas to clients, demonstrating that we have a never-ending supply — and that we’re always thinking about their business. Marc Levy, Director of Strategic and Creative Planning, Ketchum New York 25.8% Yes No, or no change 13 | creativity.holmesreport.com
  • Stagnant Ideas &thinking? Quality Stagnant thinking? The PR industry has been criticised for lacking ‘big ideas’. Do you agree? Yes it’s a fair judgement No it’s unfair Similarly, people continue to agree with the contention that PR agencies lack big ideas, a contention that is often voiced by ad industry types at Cannes. 60 percent believe the statement is a fair one, essentially the same proportion as last year. Among clients, the view is even more pronounced, with 69% believing that the PR industry lacks big ideas. Lacks big ideas 40.3% 9.7% 5 ‘The PR industry has a range of obstacles in putting forward and driving 'big ideas' and very few agencies have managed to master the art of both creating a 'big idea' and harnessing the power of their own structured traditional PR techniques.’ Agency, Australia. 14 | creativity.holmesreport.com
  • Barriers Compared with last year, lack of budget (54%) has overtaken lack of time (44%) as the biggest barrier to creativity. 43% say client feedback or risk aversion is a barrier to creativity, whilst clients say they’re not happy with the level of creativity from their agency. So where’s the disconnect? “For a client there is a perceived risk in taking a creative (read, more expensive) idea to market. Unlike advertising we do not control the end result of the editorial (unless, as some agencies do, they are paying for content – but that's another conversation). So there is a perceived risk in offering a creative idea which runs an increased risk in "not having the client taken seriously", and the idea itself ends up being more interesting than the reason why you went to market in the first instance. Plus, the vagaries of editorial mean that with a lack of control in the editorial outcome, it makes clients nervous. We cannot guarantee the way the story will be carried. The other end of the spectrum is the 'creative PR agency' who forgets the rules and etiquette of PR and does not integrate the idea with the tried and tested solid communication techniques of running a PR campaign.” Agency, Australia What stops you or your company from being creative? Lack of budget (54.0%) Lack of time (44.2%) Client feedback or rick aversion (43.6%) Lack of clear objectives (40.7%) Lack of understanding between agency & Client (23.4%) "I believe the biggest barriers to creativity in PR are (in no particular order): Client AND team risk-aversion; unclear direction from clients/fear or apprehension of pushing back to gain greater understanding of the challenge; not enough planning/research, which leads to lack of strong insights about consumer target; the belief that the ad agency is always going to lead creative, so we sit back and take their direction. We need to be Differences in opinion about creative quality (20.5%) Regulatory enviroment (19.6%) Our own risk aversion (17.2%) Leadership do not view it as important (11.9%) The economy (9.8%) It’s the domain of other departments... (8.6%) 15 | creativity.holmesreport.com
  • Barriers pro-actively coming up with creative ideas and presenting them to clients. We are just as creative as ad folks, we just need to assert that fact. This is especially true as the lines become more blurred between "advertising" and "PR." Agency, US “Creativity is particularly lacking in PR agencies in Asia Pacific: many agencies are stuck in the 90s bringing cobbled-together, recycled PPT with hollow ideas to client meetings/pitches. This is an agency management issue: creativity and new thinking is not taken seriously, invested in and rewarded.” Agency, China “PR agencies are not structured to provide creativity as a service. To do that, you need a creative team that is paid solely to think and create. Not account teams who like to think they are creative, but spend the majority of their time managing projects and clients. Until PR agencies shape themselves more like creative agencies, they won't be creative.” Agency, UK Improving the use of insight is cited most often (33%) as a catalyst for greater creativity compared to ‘more time’ in 2012. Also rising in importance is the ability to take more risks (32%). Resourcing — budget and time — continue to be seen as areas ripe for improvement, as is a better knowledge of creative tools. Significantly, options such as hiring a planner, hiring a creative director or ‘more fun’ garnered relatively little support. If you could only do three things to improve your own or your company’s creative capabilities what would they be? 33.2% Improve use of Insight 32.4% Ability to take more risks 30.4% More Budget 28.8% More knowledge of creative tools More time 24.6% Educate clients 24.3% More external stimulus 17.9% Clearer client briefs 17.9% More rewards for being creative 17.3% More training 15.6% All other Responses 11.1% 16 | creativity.holmesreport.com
  • Drivers & definitions In which areas are you seeing an increasing need for creative thinking and ideas? Paid media 14.7% Realtime marketing 22.9% owned media 27.8% stunts/experiential 28.6% media relations 41.1% content marketing 44.2% It is one thing to talk in general terms about creative standards, but a more useful picture emerges when respondents are asked to zero in on the areas where an increasing need for creative thinking and ideas is seen. Content creation comes out on top (74%), reflecting surging demand from brands, followed by integrated ideas (64%), digital comms (59%), content marketing (44%) and media relations (41%). In common with in-house findings, paid media scores considerably lower (15%). digital communication 58.9% integrated ideas 63.8% content creation 73.5% 17 | creativity.holmesreport.com
  • Drivers & definitions Getting paid A new question in this year’s survey addresses one of the fundamental issues that affects creativity. How exactly should agencies be reimbursed for their ideas? This question was put to both clients and agency people, revealing a disturbing dichotomy between each side. Agencies would rather stick to billable hours (46%) with slightly less also favouring set fees for ideas (45%), despite adland’s signal failure on the latter count. Clients — demonstrating more innovation than they are perhaps known for — would prefer to pay agencies based on sales results tied to ideas (46%). Just 22% of clients like billable hours and not too many are convinced of the merits of set fees for ideas (29%) or IP/licensing ideas (24%). vative approach to funding would help encourage idea development and overall creativity. Put more simply, it appears that agencies need to work harder to find common ground with clients that are searching for more creative PR work. In terms of developing ideas would you prefer to pay or be paid according to: Client Agency 21.8% "Campaigns that are self-serving, and briefs that focus on the product and not the consumer, are not producing ROI. Creative that cuts through to the heart of consumer need is the brand of creative that moves minds, bodies and product. If clients are intent on paying for creative that leads to sales, they will need to buy ideas that are less self-serving than they may be accustomed to.” Sarah Unger, VP, Insight and Strategy, Ketchum NY 29.1% Billable hours Billable hours 45.8% set fees for ideas Set fees for ideas 44.7% 23.6% Intellectual property Intellectual property 30.8% and licensing of ideas and licensing of ideas 45.5% Sales results Sales results 15.0% tied to ideas tied to ideas The findings would appear to confirm that a more inno18 | creativity.holmesreport.com
  • Drivers & definitions Creativity is... In your opinion, what drives great PR work? 73.4% Great storytelling Insight & planning 59.1% Emotional resonance 48.4% Content creation 43.2% purpose 34.6% Results 29.2% Third party 16.4% endorsement humour 13.6% viral execution 11.7% Technological 11.2% innovation all other responses 3.7% Finding a definition for creativity in PR remains elusive. Like last year, we asked respondents for their suggestions and received around 400 of them. They appear in the appendix to this report and again suggest that creativity means different things to different people. When asked which factors drive great creative work, respondents again ranked ‘great storytelling’ first (73%). And, once again, insight/planning came second (59%). However, emotional resonance took third spot this year (48%), followed by content creation (43%). Significantly, fewer respondents cited purpose as a creative driver compared to last year (34%), reflecting the paucity of purpose-driven campaigns in the Holmes Report’s recent Global Creative Index. 19 | creativity.holmesreport.com
  • Talent & Investment Creative director Like last year, almost half of all respondents think that a dedicated creative director role is unnecessary. 35% of organisations say they have one, with another 14.5% considering it. 4.5%, meanwhile, say they’d like a CD but can’t afford it. "Our Creative Director develops our creative process and helps to inspire others to be more creative. Often takes the lead on 'big idea' generation." Agency, UK "The CD engages with the brand from the outset to help shape and define the creative brief. He is then involved in the whole creative process – from beginning to end." Freelance, UK “We find the best ideas come from the youngest team members...one person cannot go across all practices and over 100 clients.” Do you have a creative 45.5% director? 34.7% Agency, India “To me the biggest issue of all is investment in creative talent. In most cases, agencies rely on their account leaders to generate creative ideas (these people also engage media, manage client relationships, manage internal operations, etc., they're multi-taskers). There needs to be investment in Creative Talent that does nothing more than ADD creative value and insights into solving client challenges. Ad agencies do this, PR agencies rarely do. That's the problem.” Agency, Australia 15.2% 4.7% No, not necessary, it’s part of everyone’s job Yes No, but we are considering it we’d like to but we cannot afford it 20 | creativity.holmesreport.com
  • Talent & Investment Recruitment “Avoid hiring all MBA's and Ivy League grads - theses people oversaw the great recession. Take ‘chances’ on other types of people - a few successful fuck ups who challenge everything.” “We need to hire people with strong, proven creative track records. Most likely from outside PR.” Freelance, UK Agency, Belgium A brilliant track record is more likely to land a PR creative a new job than anything else (48%). Blowing your own trumpet leading to recommendation has increased by 10% on last year (36%). Specific interview questions are also up on last year by almost 10%. “Talent in China is hard to find let alone great people in who are top creatives. It is a bigger issue in this line of work and getting people to think larger picture is always a struggle.” Agency, China How do you recruit for creativity? Award Portfolio 11.9% 43.9% Specific interview questions Specific interview test 40.0% www.ketchum.com www.ketchum.com www.ketchum.com “We have a tougher time finding creative directors among our Generation Y candidates. Baby boomers and Gen Xers are used to throwing ourselves into every challenge and every creative opportunity we see, no matter how much it eats into our private life. Gen Y is different. On the one hand this is the best educated generation we have ever had. Talented and skilled. On the other hand, they are also pragmatic and rational thinkers, always keeping an eye on their work-life-balance. The generations have to learn to work together to build a great creative staff.” Use interviewer’s judgement 35.8% Assess interviewee’s previous work Recommendation 47.5% 25.6% We don’t use any specific methods 17.5% Petra Sammer, Chief Creative Officer, Ketchum Germany 21 | creativity.holmesreport.com
  • Talent & Investment Investment Do you feel that your business adequately invests in creativity? No Yes Not sure 48.0% 39.4% Is your business investing enough into creativity? While 40% say yes, the majority – 47.5% – say no. In total, an overwhelming 60 per cent are not convinced their organisation is doing enough. “There are exceptions, but mostly no. And it's the number one, fundamental reason PR lags behind advertising in this area.” Agency, Australia 12.7% “The investment is there. The adoption needs more work.” Agency, Canada “Not enough - creativity is a challenge and is often at odds with the structured thinking of traditional PR programs.” Agency, Australia 22 | creativity.holmesreport.com
  • Talent & Investment Investment Brainstorming is still the most dominant activity to support creativity (61%), followed by award entries (51%), bookending the beginning and end of the creative process. 27.5% of respondents say they are given non-billable time to think, which represents an encouraging development on 2012. This is a practice that many creatively successful businesses adopt, with Google’s 80:20 rule — 1 day a week of protected time to think - being the most well known. However, there is a 5% increase in respondents saying there is no investment and that it is just part of the job. Mentoring, significantly, is down by almost 10%. While lack of budget is cited as the key barrier to creativity, mentoring represents a useful way to nurture creative talent in cash-strapped times. Giving top creative performers the opportunity to share their experience and talent with others has been shown to increase profitability and business confidence. It also helps encourage an open culture that takes risks and asks questions. Which investments are made to support creativity in your organisation? 61.1% Brainstorming activities award entries 50.4% using case studies 44.1% Mentoring 40.0% audience insight & planning 34.8% training in creative techniques 30.7% facilitation training Non- Billable time to think crowd-sourcing job rotation/ secondment all other responses 32.9% 27.4% 19.5% 18.1% 15.9% 23 | creativity.holmesreport.com
  • Talent & Investment Investment According to 70% of our respondents, less than 5% of overall budget is spent on improving creativity. Almost 90 percent, furthermore, allocate less than 10 percent. These stats perhaps support the notion that investment in innovation has collapsed since the 2008 financial crisis, and has yet to recover. 1.2% 5.6% 5.9% 18.2% 29.6% 39.6% What percentage of your department or agency’s overall budget/revenue is spent on improving creativity? 0-2 3-5 6-10 11-25 26-50 51 & above 24 | creativity.holmesreport.com
  • Talent & Investment Rewards More than 50% of respondents do not think that their creative ideas are properly rewarded. Bridges points out that this can be a complex area. Do you feel that your business adequately rewards creativity? 2013 2012 www.nowgocreate.co.uk www.nowgocreate.co.uk www.nowgocreate.co.uk “If those tasked to be creative don't feel like they are adequately compensated, is it any wonder that they're not firing on all cylinders? The rewards for creative performance are proven to be more effective if they are NOT financial – recognition, promotion, freedom to take risks & more opportunities to be creative all have their place.” Claire bridges, Founder, Now go create 34.1% No Yes don’t know 25 | creativity.holmesreport.com
  • Talent & Investment Rewards The majority of businesses (58%) reward creativity within the annual performance review. More than one in five do not reward creativity at all — compared to 42% in 2012, however, this is a significant improvement. How do you reward creativity and creative behaviour? Internal awards financial incentives 44.9% “The effectiveness of the campaign — creative or not — is judged. Creativity is not its own reward!” 20.2% In-house, Australia 33.8% promotion opportunities “It is just part of the job.” Freelance, US As part of annual performance review We don’t 56.8% 21.9% 26 | creativity.holmesreport.com
  • Techniques & Tools Confidence Respondents were asked how they would rate the quality of creative thinking and personnel within their business. Unsurprisingly, perhaps, agencies are far more confident, with more than two-thirds labelling it inspirational or good. On the client side, though, almost as many see it as ordinary or worse, perhaps helping to explain the gap in how creative quality and big ideas are viewed by the two groups. As Tom Kelley, founder of innovation firm IDEO, has pointed out, confidence is a major factor when it comes to innovation: “Creative confidence is the natural human ability to come up with breakthrough ideas combined with the courage to act on them. The courage turns out to be a really important part. Because lots of people have these ideas in passing but are too timid to put them into action.” How would you rate the quality of creative thinking and personnel within your business? 56.2% Agency Client 45.1% 33.6% 23.6% 11.5% 6.9% 10.5% 5.3% Inspirational 2.9% Good Ordinary UNsatisfactory 2.7% POor 27 | creativity.holmesreport.com
  • Techniques & Tools Top priority Despite the ambivalence, it is difficult to find anyone who believes that creativity is not a priority to their business. 81% rate it as a fundamental or high priority; just 18% see it as average or worse. How high a priority is creativity for you in your current business? high fundamental average 0.2% 3.2 low non- existent % 15.1% .2% 39 .2% 42 28 | creativity.holmesreport.com
  • Techniques & Tools Brainstorming 66% of respondents have a creative process in their business, even if some of the anecdotal comment disagreed. “Creativity is not a process. It’s a mindset. An attitude. It needs to be in the DNA. So the question should really be about creativity as a culture. It can be supported by processes but it cannot have a process otherwise the concept of lateral thinking gets replaced by boxed in thinking or linear thinking. Contradiction!” Agency, India www.nowgocreate.co.uk www.nowgocreate.co.uk Do you have a creative process in your business? Those agencies that have a creative process are the ones winning creativity awards and rooting their ideas in solid strategy. In particular, clients expect a process, a way of arriving at ideas. It is hard to think of another fundamental business area where outcomes are left to chance. If you look at creative businesses and unpick what they do there’s always process involved, it’s not accidental. Whether it’s creating an environment where people are free to make mistakes like 3M or time for ideas like Google, it’s deliberate. Clarie bridges, Founder, Now go create Yes No don’t know % 3.8 6% 27. .5% 65 “The words 'creativity' and 'process' jar with each other – every idea is and should be conceived differently. If you have a process, you're not being creative.” Agency, UK www.nowgocreate.co.uk 29 | creativity.holmesreport.com
  • Techniques & Tools Brainstorming Do you use any of the following techniques to generate ideas? Group brainstorming 84.9% When asked which techniques PR people use to generate ideas, group brainstorming remains number one (85%). The result calls to mind Maslow’s quote: “If you only have a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.” insight What would x do? Random stimuli Related worlds Proprietary process Reverse Brainstorming edward de bono’s 6 thinking hats we don’t use 6.8% any techniques 30 | creativity.holmesreport.com
  • Techniques & Tools Brainstorming Given the dominance of the practice, we asked respondents whether they really feel that group brainstorming is worthwhile. Despite being the dominant mode of idea generation, nearly 10% think it is a waste of time. But 45% think that it’s effective, with a further 46% saying that it’s ‘good enough’. Among clients, only 18% are consistently happy with the results. Do you feel that group brainstorming is...? 46.7% 44.0% www.nowgocreate.co.uk www.nowgocreate.co.uk www.nowgocreate.co.uk “If you have 8 people in a room without any kind of process, insight or structure then it’s a waste of (billable) time and energy. Different personality types also come into play and the extraverts will chatter and dominate whilst the more reflective types may not say much at all. It’s just lazy practice and probably accounts for the fact that the ideas are not cutting it with clients.” 9.3% Claire bridges, Founder, Now go create GOOD ENOUGH EFFECTIVE A WASTE OF TIME 31 | creativity.holmesreport.com
  • Techniques & Tools Assessment Results are very similar to 2012, with mainly subjective measures being used to assess ideas; personal experience leading (45%), closely followed by SWOT analysis. 25% (slightly less than last year) say they are not using any particular process. How do you assess your own or your agency’s creative ideas? Personal experience 44.6% SWOT “The best yardstick of creativity is in the approval of a client and the execution generating the desired behaviour in the target audience. All else is cosmetic show and tell.” Agency, India 32.8% Work as part of intergrated agency team who input We don’t use any particular process www.ketchum.com www.ketchum.com www.ketchum.com 19.0% Risk-assessment Creative director decision 13.3% Voting 25.8% 23.8% Comparison analysis 32.1% 7.8% 6 thinking hats 1.8% “We truly believe in breaking down geographic and mental boundaries to produce a steadier flow of brilliant ideas that break through. We reject boundaries of city, state, country or continent by sourcing ideas through our collaborative global networks within and outside our agency. We also reject boundaries of bias, fear, parochial thinking and time by trying to engage clients as often as possible in our creative process, and advocating persuasively for ideas that take chances.” Karen Strauss, Chief Strategy and Creativity Director 32 | creativity.holmesreport.com
  • Appendix What is your definition of creativity in the context of PR? Ability to experiment with the instruments, rather than stick with the same kit Change is the only thing which is constant Making big yet simple ideas that, when well told, attract people's minds & hearts. Innovation that makes people take notice, take the desired action, and do it more fulsomely and faster Big idea but also authenticity An incredible idea that not only gets media talking but can be transcended across all platforms, that creates masses of shareable content and that sparks ripples after it has happened Big, campainable ideas - ones that are independent of one particular discipline (PR, advertising, marketing). Great, creative ideas can serve as the foundation for truly integrated campaign work. Content that on it's surface doesn't immediately appear to be a PR point. Convincing teams and clients that being edgy won't hurt their brands, if it's done right. Clever presentation of messaging that make it more appealing to and less canned for businesses and consumers. More PRativitty, please. Something that's so immediately obvious that anyone could have thought of it - except that no one else had you didn't even know you had. That, which is innovative enough to grab the consumer's attention, leads to conversion/ engagement in some form and gives the consumer and the marketer maximum benefit from such engagement. Fresh combination of insight and ideas to create work so fresh you don't notice its PR, and that results in behaviour change Forming conversations that would otherwise not exist. Forget what was - concentrate on what is and what will be. The ability to craft a clever idea which has messages of the client deeply embedded within it, and an idea which has the ability to be 'PR'd' itself. Marry that with tracking back to the business objectives of the client. Fresh, compelling, new and yet makes absolute sense to the client's needs and objectives. PR lies at the heart of brand communication. It needs to grasp the nettle and take control of comms across all channels. By positioning PR as the brand's "editor", the discipline will work with all channels to deliver cohesive communications. An idea that is refreshingly new but still relevant and, as a result, highly engaging. A journalist reacts positively straight up or a consumer says I get it - it should change behaviour,change attitudes or lead to increased awareness The challenge is to make brands tell a genuine story, one that is true to its values and also relevant to the public - and do this in a creative, engaging way. Ability to generate ideas, which, filtered, produce practical results. Handling adversity well. It's now part of the connected world. And integrating/thinking more in terms of business process and opportunity loss. Finding and listening to the thoughts and opinions of stakeholders/publics An original means to a meaningful end. Ideas generated from a genuine insight that create emotional charge and change behaviour. It is a paradox, so it is the road where ideas that aren't typically allowed into PR space intersect with the traditional's acceptance. What it should be: bold collaboration between departments and client/agency relationships where budgets are shelved for the conversation. Execution of random ideas, particularly those born of an ad-hoc brainstorming process. Notably untethered to business objectives. societal issues or current events that are not obvious, via multiple communication and integrated entertainment methods/media. An idea that will retain the audience attention and is applicable regardless of the media. Disruption. Getting the right attention quickly and effectively and translating that straight to business objectives. Creativity isn't necessarily the same in PR -- it could be an out of the box strategy that successfully evaded a crisis -- but in any instance, creativity in PR is the kind of idea that is so clever and effective that it couldn't be sold in an advertisement if they tried. The magic by which a rational insight is brought to life in an engaging and emotional way to bring about a change in behaviour. Bringing the "wow" factor of advertising to the editorial agenda. Ideas that build the brand or product reputation without being seen as obvious PR. The "context of PR" limits creativity. Instead of thinking outside the box, creativity needs to expand the box, bringing in innovative thinking from a wide range of disciplines. Also, inherent to creativity is to create. Too often, PR thinks up creative ideas only to have them outsourced to other fields which dilutes the idea. PR needs to be able to create and execute against creativity. Powerful ideas that create palpable and lasting influence among key stakeholders. Unique Convergence. Relating the uniqueness or credibility of a brand by showing its connectivity to popular Good ideas that work for the client business objectives. Too many PR ideas are just stunts for the sake of it Making the complex compelling ... and simple. Teaching clients how to perpetually seize creative opportunities. The striking and entertaining dramatization of a relevant information. Truly moving idea that unlike ads compels media or consumers to share it/ act on it. Our products and programs should engage, inspire and incite audiences to do something - there has to be a call to action to what we do! Something that makes me think 'why the f* didn't we think of that' .. That gives me goosebumps and that can be integrated across the mix ... and has longevity. Big ideas to change perceptions, to wake minds, to inspire stories that 33 | creativity.holmesreport.com
  • Appendix appeals people and to get changes in society. Capturing the attention of heavily attention deficit audiences with a compelling story that connects emotionally with them. What's that interesting angle you use? That makes people sit up and listen? How do you connect the dots? Sharp sound bite; adventurous tagline Depends on the client and industry. Within healthcare, its more about innovation within regulations than true creativity Storytelling that kickstarts organic branded conversations, bringing the consumer / business into the thinking in a natural and unforced manner. Something engaging and distinct from advertising Thinking outside the square to achieve a corporate/strategic objective - not just in traditional creative sense, but importantly in creative thinking to achieve real corporate objectives. Creative content acts as a catalyst for conversation about the issue not the creative (e.g., Dumb Ways to Die vs. the Volkswagon Super Bowl Star Wars ad). Bending pop culture in favor of our www.holmesreport.com clients' brands. www.holmesreport.com provocative ideas + surgical execution Presenting the message in a way that captures attention, but doesn't stray too far away from the company branding Ideas that stand out, can travel under their own steam, and link clearly to a business objective www.holmesreport.com www.holmesreport.com www.holmesreport.com Arun Sudhaman Editor | Holmes Report arun@holmesreport.com The 'hook' that grabs the consumer's imagination. www.nowgocreate.co.uk Creating a seamless environmental experience/engagement that consumers and customers BEG to be part of. Creativity is universal. It is the judgment of creativity that is uncomfortable and requires confidence, even bravery, to triumph. This is the paradox of creativity in the PR environment. The masters of reputation management have a bit of a confidence problem when it comes to owning their creativity. www.nowgocreate.co.uk www.nowgocreate.co.uk Claire Bridges Founder | Now Go Create claire@nowgocreate.co.uk www.ketchum.com www.ketchum.com www.ketchum.com Karen Strauss Chief Strategy & Creativity Director | Ketchum karen.strauss@ketchum.com 34 | creativity.holmesreport.com