By Anna McDermott
On The PR Maven® Podcast episode 26, Nancy’s guest, Whitney Raymond, talked about how as an adult, she now goes out and explores her home state, which gives her a fantastic new perspective for her client, the Maine Office of Tourism. This a wonderful way to renew your marketing creativity. When you work in marketing, every day you’re called upon to be imaginative. Most people aren’t endless fountains of great ideas and beautiful prose, so learning some tips to recharge your creativity is very important.
- Get outside: My favorite tip is to go outside. Take a walk or a short hike. Visit a park you haven’t been to before and explore. Throw on your headphones and listen to a band you loved when you were a teenager or a creative podcast while you jog. Moving helps stimulate your endorphins, and certain exercise can promote new brain cell growth in your hippocampus, which some studies show is linked to creativity. It sometimes just feels really good to not be sitting at your desk, trying to think of the next great idea.
- Do something different with the products or clients you represent: If you market a product and can’t think of a new way to promote it, get some first-hand experience with it. Use it in a way you haven’t before or bring it to a friend and see what they like or dislike about it. Check out your competition. By trying out their product, you will have tangible experiences with what is better or worse about it. I only use Hellmann’s mayo and there’s no faster way for me to wax poetic about how great it is than after I taste another brand. Then, it’s like pure word magic.
- Talk with someone: When I’m writing all day, my brain is working in one way the whole time and can get into a thinking rut. Stopping and talking to a person helps shift mental gears and gives that writing part of my mind a break. So, give a friend or colleague a call or stop by their desk. A five-minute chat about nothing work related is a great way to reboot your creativity.
- Go to a museum: For many, looking at the creativity of others is another way to reignite their own imagination. If you live near an art museum or gallery, pop in and spend a little time with some artwork that moves you.
- Learn something new: When your brain feels dried up and haggard after a long day working on something, it’s fine to throw in the towel and put your mind to the task of learning something totally new to you. If you think you’re a terrible chef, watch a recipe video and try it out for dinner. Getting out of your comfort zone is a fantastic way to recharge your brain. Or, read a well-regarded book about marketing. Maybe you’ll see something that makes you stop and think in a whole new way.
- Exercise – but change THAT up, too: An important part of keeping your brain agile is keeping your body agile. Daily exercise is known to improve your work habits but when you’re in a creativity black hole, you can up how you exercise, too. Do something totally different. Do you regularly run or workout at the gym? Try a Zumba class – you can even use a dance class video in the comfort of your home. Or, try 20 minutes of vinyasa-style yoga. You will still get the health benefits of exercise, but you won’t be on auto pilot.
- Write something totally different: Stop and write a haiku. Or a short story about unicorns. Whatever. Write something in a completely different genre than your day-to-day work.
By mixing things up a bit, your creativity can be recharged, and you and your clients will reap the benefits.