To be direct and to the point, I think no matter which profession you embark on, which degree you successfully complete – well done by the way; if you really want to become a force to be reckoned with, within the creative industry, you need to experience all four sections that make up a truly brilliant industry to work in: The creative industry, or has some would call it: the communications business.
I’m talking of course, about: Marketing, Public Relations, Advertising and Design. These four wonderful professions will at some point depend on each other. It’s called the life cycle of modern-day communicating. Because of this – to be worth your salt – you need to know, understand and experience the requirements and demands of each industry sector to be really – and I mean really useful.
I believe this because of two core reasons: first, to call yourself a creative, you need to understand the creative industry as a complete function – a unified entity; and two, be able to bring a mash-up of real creativity you need to understand how each profession can add value.
In my view, if you just understand public relations, or say, advertising, then you are less likely to be able to compete and be really useful in this modern communications age – an age where everyone, and I mean everyone understands how brand proposition works – its value, its reasoning and its power.
You only have to look at the number of so called creative agencies that are currently tapping on the screens of every blogger they come across to understand this. It’s a shame however, that most agencies don’t – and I really mean ‘don’t’ understand how the process works to see the complete failing and un-creative process these professionals are undertaking. In PR we call it scatter gunning – it’s a lazy and very uncreative way of trying to achieve even the basic ROI for client’s investment.
I have however, been fortunate enough to work for a couple of integrated agencies who have kindly allowed me to participate in every stage of campaign development. I also understand how integrated campaigning generates greater success than a stand-alone approach.
If you understand each profession, their tricks and their processes then it enables you to produce a strategy based on not only what you can deliver, but want can be achieved with the budget given. This of course helps build client relationships and maintain successful campaigns, which, as we all know, allow us to build client relationships. After all, if the client remains successful then they are more likely to stay in business for longer so can pay our retainer fees for longer – the life cycle of business!
This failure to understand its importance is not down to those clever people who are bright enough to achieve a degree (I mean this wholeheartedly by the way) – I never did! Instead my experience and knowledge is built on starting at the bottom (the very bottom) and working my way up. The failure is due to some educational establishments – they can only really teach what they really know – and when was the last time they were out doing it for the brands? The failure is also due to some clients who are happy to accept un-creative campaigns.
At this point I want to apologise for my arrogance. As an un-educated fellow I don’t really understand how universities account for themselves. I do however, know how business works and how too many companies have collapsed due to their own ignorance. A syndrome I like to call: PSM (Public Sector Mentality).
PSM sufferers believe they can’t be sacked – no matter how badly they perform. This stupidity also lends itself to agencies that think they know best and what they know is what’s best for the client – ‘give the client what we have not what they need.’
By now I’ve probably annoyed half of those who have kindly read this blog, but I would like to confirm that this is not my intention – honest! But this blog is based on over 16 years, listening to self-proclaimed gurus talk complete rubbish and, listening to new clients saying: “before we dealt with you we really thought ‘PR’ was an expensive way of wasting money.” Honesty, this is true!
Well, my rant is now over, but I hope I have given those creative types a blog which they are happy to read; given those uncreative – the ignorant – a poke in the eye, and those who want to be the best they can be an insight into the thoughts of a 16 + veteran who has a blog page and isn’t afraid to use it, or for that matter, abuse it!