Good account management requires creativity. If it doesn't come naturally, here's some advice on getting your creative juices flowing. By @TopLineFounder
As the PR Account Manager’s Handbook reaches its climax, I have decided to dedicate the final post in the series to innuendo, and would like to invite you to whip out your most adventurous bits in celebration of creativity in PR.
As an account manager, your clients expect you to be constantly spurting out creative ideas. Most of us don’t wear red skinny jeans and big glasses with brown rims to work so we therefore struggle to give rise to creativity on demand. Unfortunately there’s no little blue pill you can pop to get your inventive juices flowing. However, why not schedule a thought shower or an idea gang-bang and get in touch with your creative side?
If you’re still shooting blanks that’s because you haven’t committed to the very important process of exposing yourself to creative greatness. Experience tells me you can’t rely on yourself to spawn the right creative idea when the need arises. Instead you need to prime yourself in advance to be ready to respond like a visionary to even the slightest signal. And there are only two ways you can do this.
The first is to nick ideas off others in the industry. Most of these have already been solicited off someone else and recycled so I wouldn’t worry too much about the moral implications of being a PR copycat. The easiest way to do this is to read the case studies of successful campaigns. This will give you all kinds of great ideas, or kick-start your own idea generation process. Luckily, you work in an industry that loves to flaunt its greatness, so these case studies are pretty easy to get your hands on. Set yourself a weekly task to spend 20 minutes skimming over case studies. It will be worth it. Good places to start are PR Week, which features three campaigns a week (tip – if you want to get your campaign in this section you need good pictures), competitors’ websites and award shortlists (often won’t feature the whole case study, but you will know if it has been shortlisted that it’s probably worth a read, and you should be able to Google your way in, you sly fox you!).
The second is to read the media (you’re only a true account manager if you do this daily). Devour your trade press and ravage the nationals. If you’re up to speed on what’s making headlines, you’ll be in a much better position to develop campaigns that are nothing short of swell. I have mathematical proof that news junkies are better at PR than anyone else: of the 82 PR people I have worked with in my life, the 12 news junkies were the best at everything. Try and disprove that one science!
Satisfied? Yearning for more? Why not read our other posts in the PR Account Manager’s Handbook then?
The B2B PR Blog is a resource for both PR professionals and people working in B2B industries on how to devise and implement successful B2B PR campaigns. The blog is managed by b2b pr specialist Heather Baker, founder TopLine Comms, an inbound marketing and B2B content marketing agency and takes contribution from anyone sensible in the industry with something intelligent to say. Follow Heather on Twitter @TopLineFounder or contact her via email on email@example.com.
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