Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Vicious Cirkle

Amelia Torode is head of digital and innovation at the Good Relations Group. She’s a PR.

But she’s a PR with a difference in that she’s come to us from adland having previously worked for Ogilvy in New York and VCCP here in London.  So she’s an interesting part of our evolving industry which is increasingly seeing not just journalists join our ranks, but also people from across the wider spectrum of communications.

Amelia wrote a brilliant piece for The Holmes Report last week ( in which she suggested ways in which PR might overcome the perceived lack of creativity we suffer from: “a culture shift towards curiosity, constraints and conflict”.

Amelia’s basic argument is that too often we’re delivering tactical creative and that it’s because we don’t employ enough curious people or train our people to be more curious, that we don’t often enough write tight creative briefs and because we’re all too damn nice and avoid the conflict from which truly great ideas are often born.

She’s so right.

On everything.

I’ve spoken before about curiosity and its role as the life-blood of creative people: they take a child-like delight in the new, are constantly interested, are constantly ‘adding dots’, as Steve Jobs might have put it.

And I’ll cover creative briefs in another post.

But conflict, sweet conflict… it doesn’t happen half enough in most agencies.  The people who passionately deviate from the prevailing view are often seen as negatively disruptive, they are to be side-lined rather than encouraged, even if it feels uncomfortable at the time.

So this year I’m going to be looking for some more creative viciousness at Cirkle.  I want people to get so into what they’re developing they fall out with each other.  I’m going to encourage internal battles over ideas before they reach the clients.

I might tell the team about the coming torrent of argument, but then again, that’d be the nice thing to do.

By Nick Woods
Deputy MD, Cirkle

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