Keeping Creativity Alive

March 24, 2020

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“These sure are interesting times!” That was the common phrase used by friends and colleagues during our first FH-WFH (Work From Home) week. And honestly, how can you disagree? It was a whirlwind as we all started to grasp and understand what our new reality not only meant for our clients but also how we work together as a team. As the Creative lead for FleishmanHillard in New York, and a very social creature by nature, I found myself constantly reaching out to family, friends and colleagues throughout the week, looking for inspiration to continue to spark our collaborative approach to creative and creativity during this time.

As humans, we have a tendency to get creative and innovate when put under pressure and last week was no different. Although the world is in a turbulent place at the moment, one can argue that this is also a moment in time where we are also experiencing a surge of creativity. Maybe it’s boredom, the newfound abundance of time or in some cases parents having to keep their kids entertained, but people all over the world are getting creative in how they operate in their homes and sharing it with us online. Brands are no different. We have seen many brands get creative about how they can help in a meaningful way during this time too.

So, you might be asking yourself, “How can I keep up my creative fire in this current landscape?” Well, with being only one week in, here are just some of the ways you can keep your creativity on point during this time of self-isolation:

1. Explore:

Virtually, of course. Make sure you take some time to dive into the discover capabilities of social platforms like Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok. This will give you a first-hand look at the creativity taking place at a grassroots level all over the world. It will make you sing, dance and sometimes even LOL. It’s a great way to keep your pulse on culture, it might spark an idea or shift your mindset to think differently.

2. Meet (Virtual) Face to (Virtual) Face:

If you haven’t been doing so already, take advantage of all the video calling and conferencing features to get some virtual face to face interaction. It’s so important for our (at least my) mental health but also critical for fueling our creativity when brainstorming.

If you are planning on hosting a brainstorm, make sure you have the following:

  1. Have a plan. If you are facilitating the brainstorm session, then it’s important to have an action plan to guide all the participants to contribute to the best of their virtual ability.
  2. A brief is STILL super important. It will help focus the discussion for everyone and ensure the objective is crystal clear.
  3. Demand focus. Yes, demand. Working virtually also means that there can be a lot of distractions. Instruct participants to turn on video sharing and refrain from multitasking.
  4. Try new tools. Try to utilize different video conference tools and find which one works best for you. Also, don’t forget to use programs like PowerPoint, Google docs or even fun cue cards to drive and spark the ideation session.

Beyond brainstorms, virtually connecting also allows you to speak to friends that you potentially didn’t get a chance to regularly. It’s always easy to get caught up in our busy lives, but now it’s a great way to get a different perspective.

3. Fuel your creativity

Take on a new creative challenge or maybe invest in one that you couldn’t make enough time for before. Many brands are providing free online activities. Museums and galleries are providing virtual tours, guitar companies are offering free guitar lessons and more! You can also take a break and dive into a fictional world through the book that you just haven’t had a chance to start in a pre-COVID world. Having your brain explore these different areas will only boost your creativity.

4. We are all in this together

At the end of it all, just remember – we are all in this together. We are all navigating this new reality at the same time. So, take the time to explore, connect and re-fuel. It’s only going to help you navigate our new normal while still keeping your creative fire burning bright!