How To Be Creative When You're Dead (Less Zombies, More Unicorns)


As part of the PRCA's ongoing #Digibites series, I was invited along with other the leading lights within the PR and comms industry to present on Digital Creativity - Ignite Style. As is the tradition with Ignite Talks, speakers had a total of 5 minutes per presentation: that's 20 slides of 15 seconds each and buckets of enthusiasm as they share their interpretation of Digital Creativity.

To give you a flavour of some of the talks that happened that night, Candace Kuss considered “Why is Candy Crush Saga so Addictive?” and Max Tatton-Brown compared digital creativity to Jurassic Park, using extensive advice from Jeff Goldblum.

This was the first time I'd presented Ignite style, but I loved the format of the event. The structure makes for a speedy session, so it’s much easier to talk about something you’re genuinely excited by (like digital creativity) as it helped keep up the pace.

I presented on "How To Be Creative When You're Dead", my slides are below. Enjoy!


How To Be Creative When You're Dead


How to be creative when you're dead

[/one_half][one_half_last]How To Be Creative When You're Dead. I know I’m the last speaker and you’re probably dying for this to finish.[/one_half_last]


The Press Release is Dead

[/one_half] [one_half_last]In an article called “Die! Press release! Die! Die! Die! Former Financial Times and Silicon Valley Watcher journalist Tom Foremski declared that the press release was dead. This was in 2006. [/one_half_last]


SEO is Dead

[/one_half] [one_half_last]As early as 2004, a whole host of SEO blogs were declaring that SEO is dead. If you type “SEO is Dead” into Google, you now get 55 million results.[/one_half_last]


Fail Whale Twitter is Dead

[/one_half] [one_half_last]In April this year, The Atlantic declared that “Twitter is dead”, writing a eulogy for Twitter and declaring that the beloved social publishing platform enters its twilight. The problem is… SEO, Press Releases, Twitter and a whole host of other formats, that have been declared dead for years now, are all still alive and kicking. And what else is alive and kicking?[/one_half_last]


Lego Zombies

[/one_half] [one_half_last]ZOMBIES!!!![/one_half_last]


Digital Zombies

[/one_half] [one_half_last]The reason people keep saying that press releases, SEO, even Twitter is dead is because of a lack of creativity. It’s lazy journalism and lazy blogging to call something dead. You’re just not thinking[/one_half_last]


I Hate Writing This I Hate Reading This

[/one_half] [one_half_last]You write lazy, boring press releases or blog posts or creative, journalists and bloggers hate writing it up and readers hate reading it, or even worse don’t read it at all. [/one_half_last]


Kermit The Frog is a Happy Journalist

[/one_half] [one_half_last]There are thousands and thousands of journalists out there who just want a well written news release that they can edit easily to fill their pages of regional papers, weekly papers, trade magazines. Sending out an identical news release to hundreds of journalists has ALWAYS been a fairly useless tool for generating news stories, especially if you’re targeting big media outlets such as national newspapers and broadcast news.[/one_half_last]


Sweary Fail Whale

[/one_half] [one_half_last]As long as search exists, SEO will exist. And you’ve all been tweeting all night long, so Twitter isn’t dead. It’s not that these format are dying, it’s just that it’s getting harder to take advantage, manipulate or game them. If you’re lazily sending out press releases, not thinking through your tweets, over optimising your SEO, then you’re going to lose. You’re dead. [/one_half_last]


Digital Creativity

[/one_half] [one_half_last]This is where creativity comes in. The winners are those that put creativity into supposedly dead formats. You want to know what creativity is?[/one_half_last]


Robocop Riding a Unicorn

[/one_half] [one_half_last]Robocop riding a unicorn. That’s creativity.[/one_half_last]


Genius is 1 Percent Inspiration 99 Percent Perspiration

[/one_half] [one_half_last]And by creativity, I also mean Hard Work. "Genius is 1% inspiration, 99% perspiration." The woman who drew that Robocop riding a unicorn has a whole series of them up on her Flickr page. This is her 5th or 6th attempt, so she's working hard to get that Robocop and unicorn just right. [/one_half_last]


Zombie Office Worker

[/one_half] [one_half_last]So when you go back to the office tomorrow, and have to write a press release or an article or think of a new creative idea for a really boring client, don’t be a zombie. Remember this instead.[/one_half_last]


Less Zombies More Unicorns

[/one_half] [one_half_last]Less zombies, more Robocop riding unicorns. [/one_half_last]


The full How to be Creative slidedeck: