• Scott McInnes

#27 | Creativity - there's a time and place!

I was walking along the quays the other day when this bus passed me.




Which made me stop and look (which was perhaps the point?) to realise that they were - tongue in cheek-ily - telling you what you won't get in order to reinforce what you will get. It got me thinking of course - what if I'd simply been passing by (in a car for example) and not gotten a chance to read the small(ish) print? I'd likely have totally missed the point of their 'clever and creative' campaign.

Rewind six months to a donut shop around the corner from the office - the new cronut/burrito/smoothie/juice/ <insert food fad here> phenomenon to hit Ireland. Someone had decided that it would be great to put some donut related slogans up in the window - not a bad idea...

One they picked to put front and centre on their window was 'Donut believe the hype!'. Oh, I thought, the hype that is currently the do-nut, the product that you sell and would no doubt like me to buy a dozen of? THAT donut?? I didn't believe the hype and went on my merry way, €3 and about 600 calories better off.

That shop's now closed! (I'm sure it wasn't entirely the fault of the 'clever and creative' marketing).

As part of my 'Communication for the 21st Century' course (You can see details and dates here) I talk about being creative in communications in order to shake things up a bit - to perhaps appeal more to people's emotional side. However, there is a line.

Key to knowing where that line is is thinking about what's going on around you - being more self aware. This is exactly why leaders are one of the best and most effective communications channels you have. They understand the nuances of their people, how the team is feeling, what’s going on. They know how far they can push the creativity of their communications to get a message across without overdoing it.

Here are a few things to think about

  • Think imaginatively – about what will help you to meet the objective of your communication

  • Up the impact of your communication by doing something totally different.

  • Consider other channels - Don’t automatically think ‘email’ – what other channels do you have at your disposal?

There's a time and a place for creativity in communications. Key to success is knowing when that time is.


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