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Fun, fierce and thought-provoking: The PRCA Ignite session on Digital Creativity

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What do you get if you take 50 PR people, a basement room of a pub and free booze? The third annual PRCA Ignite event on digital creativity.

Presented in Ignite-style – 20 slides moving on automatically, no pauses – ten fast talking speakers covered all aspects of digital creativity, with Star Wars and Strictly examples thrown in for good measure. Here are three of the talks to help ignite your creative thinking…

Is there a case for old ideas?

Ask any PR and they will tell you of a never ending quest for that ‘new idea’, true originality, but Emma Wright from H&K says, don’t exhaust yourself trying to think of new ideas. She argues that our chances of getting that idea are slim and we can be just as creative taking an old story or idea and refreshing it for a contemporary audience.

Knight argues that all successful story-telling takes a story that people instinctively know and then put it through a contemporary lens. Take Star Wars for example, this is a classic ‘hero’s journey’ (a tried, tested and loved idea that’s been replicated millions of times), over-laid with a contemporary lens for what was happening in wider society at the time, the space race.

Familiar and loved story + contemporary lens = success!

Not a Star Wars fan? Instead take Jurassic Park – an example of a ‘Hubris’ tale (man aspiring and failing to overturn nature and be like the gods). ‘Hubris’ plus genetic modification/ cloning = Jurassic Park.

Emma closed by stating that we have a great canvas for story-telling as people are consuming more and more content, but for success, we must remember this principle of including timeless story-telling with contemporary relevance. So next time you’re wracking your brain, consider taking a winning story and apply a contemporary lens – you could find the next Star Wars.

Are we better off showering with colleagues than sitting in a brainstorm?

Yes you read that right, one of the speakers argues that there is no inspiration to be had by sitting together brainstorming in a boardroom. In fact it is when our subconscious is working that ideas come to the forefront, like when we’re in the shower (colleagues are an optional extra!).

We’ve all sat in brainstorms and there are so many variable factors on whether or not it will be a winner. My take is that the ‘eureka moments’ can be few and far between without the brief being mulled over in advance. Brainstorms have a place for me, but as the old saying goes… failing to prepare is preparing to fail!

And finally, can we link the principles of digital creativity and… Strictly Come Dancing?

Yes we can, according to Helen Lawrence from Twitter. Lawrence has to be commended on her enthusiasm and life-long commitment to the long-running BBC show, a show which she thinks has all of the same components that equal digital creativity. How can the two be linked I hear you ask?

According to Lawrence there are some key boxes to tick to achieve success:
• You have to over-commit (see Ed Balls!)
• If the public like it who cares if the experts don’t (again Balls!)
• Be live (react in real time)
• Improve through feedback
• Remember it’s about the journey
• Add some glitter!

In a time where millennials absorb 25% more tweets than people aged 35+ in the same amount of time, it’s more important than ever to stand out and keep learning what works!

There you have it, three very different approaches to tackling digital creativity. Thanks very much for a brilliant evening PRCA.

Clare Wildman
Senior Account Manager

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