So your Dry January may have hit the odd puddle, but there's no need to abandon the concept of making positive changes that will energise you professionally. Here’s our list of 11 resolutions for creative critters, dedicated to combatting cliché and producing great work.
1. Get out more
Physically and intellectually. Go to more exhibitions; visit more cities; and read more poetry. The best ideas come from an eclectic range of sources. Poetry is especially good for learning how to make maximum impact through minimum word count – perfect inspiration for when you’re crafting copy into shrinking social media restrictions.
2. Speak up
If the winning concept has been watered down, or the case study underpinning a charity appeal is weak, and you don’t think the work will get a good response, speak up – for everyone’s sake. It’s far better to press for stronger source materials at the start, than to plough on with problematic or lukewarm creative.
3. Get personal
When conducting interviews on behalf of clients, always try to visit key people face to face. Not only will you get invaluable nuance, detail and ‘colour’, you’ll be more engaged with the project yourself.
4. Play for laughs…
Whenever it’s appropriate, consider using visual or verbal humour. That’s often what makes us ‘share’.
5. …or pull heart-strings
And when humour is definitely NOT appropriate: focus very clearly on the need your client is meeting, and why their solution rocks. Imagine you’re telling a friend why you’re so stoked to be working for that particular client. A ‘pub pitch’, if you will.
6. Battle banality
Avoid ever using stock shots of people in suits hailing taxis, or suspiciously blow-dried retired couples gazing emptily into each other’s eyes. Avoid ever writing anything that could be labelled ‘content’.
7. Share with the wider team
Run your ideas by all your colleagues, not just the ‘creative department’. And discuss work in progress with your client, if they’re up for that kind of collaboration. It’s amazing how often someone will throw something in to dial up the brilliance.
8. Swot up
Always do a bit of research into your client’s competitors. And when you review your own work, always ask yourself: could this come from a competitor, or could it ONLY have come from my client? If the former – it needs more thought.
9. Choose your stage
When your client describes their goal and their target audience, think really openly about which media platforms might suit their needs. Everything’s changing and everything’s up for grabs.
10. Use your network
Always consider editorial tie-ins; use your journalism and PR contacts to massively enhance your campaign. It’s a great story for them as your partners, too.
11. And remember…
Whoever your creative is targeting, be they rocket scientists or rock drummers, try to remember they are still people who have the same needs and emotions as everyone else. Simple creative ideas work for everyone.