Can you trigger creativity? No – I would have said 3 days ago.

The neurons in my brain are after a particularly busy couple of days. I had a PRCA webinar by Rebecca Rhodes of Now Go Create about how to unleash your inner creativity. She supplied me with plenty of really amazing techniques for getting my thoughts moving and for making random connections between even more random things. Then the next morning we, PR postgrad students, were invited to an undergraduate PR brainstorming to give students planning their final campaigns a fresh, outsider perspective. The session was led by practitioners of Ketchum PR (PRWeek Agency of the Year in 2012) who gave tips on how to get into the relaxed, positive mindset when there is a need to be creative and introduced even more techinques to go wild with our thoughts.

I’ll choose one technique that particularly caught my imagination from Rebecca Rhodes and one from Ketchum PR.

1, THE IDEA from Rebbecca Rhodes

Have a group of virtual advisors on your side – that’s your mind dressed in someone’s ‘body’ advising you. It’s pretty much about getting a different perspective.  You choose a few people you know enough to have a raugh idea how they would solve a situation and ask yourself: what would they advise you to do? So let’s say you have to come up with a communications solution for people not saying thank you when someone holds the door for them. What would Barack Obama advise you? Probably something along the line of everybody having the right to be equally thanked for a nice gesture. This can be a good starting point.

2, THE IDEA from Ketchum

Write the alphabet on a big sheet of paper with leaving plenty of space between the letters. Come up with a random word beginning with each letter and write them down. There you go: try to combine each random word with your problem to come up with a solution and see whether you can figure out something meaningful. So if you write cucumber for ‘C’, ask yourself how you could make people say thank you if someone holds the door for them with the help of cucumbers? (Suggestions are welcome in comments.) I love the randomness to this technique; it could really kick off a brainstorm!

And finally, I hereby declare my official ‘advisors’ for now (see them below) (THE IDEA 1) – the line-up is subject to change depending on how they do. Who would you choose?

Tenzin Gyatso (Dalai Lama), Bridget Jones and Maurizio Cattelan

Tenzin Gyatso (Dalai Lama), Bridget Jones and Maurizio Cattelan

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