As we get ready to ring in the New Year, we’ve spent some time looking back on our most popular blog posts of 2012. Here are the top 10:
5 Misconceptions About Public Relations
There are some common misconceptions about the field of public relations that even PR students don’t know. Here, we outlined five of the most common misunderstandings about the field.
What’s the difference between traditional, new media?
Building relationships with bloggers is a little different than building relationships with newspaper reporters. Here are a few tips to help you successfully pitch new media.
Tips for Setting Goals in the New Year
Did you achieve your personal and professional goals in 2012? If not, follow these 10 tips to help you through the process in 2013.
How To Get and Give a Great TV Interview
If your company is ready for broadcast and already secured an interview, consider these interview tips before going on the air.
CEO Magazine Features Metis’ Co-Founder Courtney Hurst, Weekend Lobster Hauler
Metis Co-Founder Courtney Hurst shares the business and PR lessons she learned from commercial fishing with CEO Magazine. Here’s a recap of the feature.
Why Tech Brands Should Join Pinterest
Pinterest is quickly expanding its social media power, and marketers would do well to create a presence on the site. Here are a few resources to get you started.
What Can PR Do for Small Businesses?
Small businesses need PR help more than ever, but they also need to understand the right time to do it. When starting out small, it’s important to tell the media and potential customers what your company does. Here are a few things PR can do for your company.
Office Drinking Jumpstarts PR Creativity
After reading the results from a recent study on the effects of mild intoxication on creative problem solving, the Metis team grabbed a drink to get those creative ideas flowing.
How to Find The Best Networking Events
Attending networking events gives you the opportunity to discuss your career, learn from others and extend your network for professional development. If you’re looking for new networking events to attend, check out the listings on these websites.
8 Lies PR Pros Like to Tell
Good PR professionals don’t like to be associated with firms that tell fibs. To help you steer clear of these PR firms, here are a few common fibs we’ve heard in the past.
What was your favorite blog post from 2012?
Courtney, Emily, Melissa and Cathy view an untitled piece by the Brazilian brothers Otavio and Gustavo Pandolf, also known as Os Gêmeos.
When do your best ideas come to you? Chances are, the answer to that question is not, “while sitting obediently at my desk,” or “when I’m in a meeting.” Numerous studies by everyone from efficiency experts and psychologists to human resources professionals confirm that for most employees, inspiration strikes them when they’re doing something off-task like driving, walking, daydreaming, doodling or listening to music.
Most of us can make the connection between daydreaming and creativity in the arts. Poets, painters, dancers and musicians often credit imaginative play for their successes. But what about in the corporate world? In general, business has been slower to come around to the usefulness of creative thinking, but that is changing. Mention the word "visionary," and business icons like Jack Welch, Steve Jobs and even a kid named Mark Zuckerberg come to mind. All of these corporate heroes credit the power of having a vision—a mental image or plan—for keeping them on the right path. That kind of vision comes with unstructured time to tap into your own muse, let go of stuffy, traditional thinking, and unleash your originality without fear of judgment or pressure to get things done.
Island Universe (detail), 2008. Handblown and press-molded glass, chrome-plated aluminum, electric lighting, rigging by Josiah McElheny
Creativity is a skill that we often call upon at Metis to provide new ideas, approaches and solutions for our clients. The agency’s motto is “Here, we will do our best work ever,” and for the team members, that best work includes providing unique, unconventional ways for our clients to rise above the noise and stand out to the media. We understand that influencers are bombarded daily with boring, run-of-the-mill pitches from other PR agencies. Our secret weapon for securing meaningful opportunities for our clients is the creative, thought-provoking content we deliver to the media.
That’s why Metis management encourages time for the team to explore the artistic side of life. We recently took a local field trip to the dazzling Institute of Contemporary Art on Boston’s waterfront for some creative inspiration. The team was immersed in contemporary artwork across every conceivable medium (not to mention a few we’d never thought possible), viewing pieces that were beautiful, disturbing, clever, haunting, humorous and overwhelming. Everyone had their favorites, but the real lesson of the trip was that sometimes, we have to get out of our comfort zones and into the creativity zone for inspiration to strike.
What's your favorite way to take a creative break?
“Captured here: Metis took a break from dominating the world of PR for a quick game of flip cup.”
Do you need more creativity and entertainment in your office? If the answer is yes, then you have come to the right blog. A recent study led by a team of brilliant minds at the University of Illinois set out to correlate the effects of mild intoxication on creative problem solving.
To prove the hypothesis that creativity and moderate amounts of alcohol coincide, the research team split a group of 40 participants into two groups. The first group was not allowed any alcohol, and the second group drank a quantity of vodka that equaled the alcohol level of two pints of beer. Next, all participants performed a standard test of insightful thinking called the Remote Associates Test, which asks participants to find a link between three words. The three words are presented on each round of test questions (coin, quick, spoon) and the aim is to identify the one word that best fits these three (silver). This research study shows that participants with higher working memory capacity often perform worse at this task because they persist with pursuing lines of thought triggered by misleading words. So, the more you drink, the more creative you become.
The key finding from the test indicates that the intoxicated participants solved more items than the control group. They solved 58 percent of 15 items on average compared to 42 percent average success achieved by the controlled participants. The intoxicated group also solved items more quickly (11.54 seconds per item versus 15.24 seconds).
If you want to spice up your office’s next brainstorming session or simply need to rejuvenate from the typical day-to-day grind, grab a beer or a vodka soda and get creative.
How does your office get the creative ideas flowing?
In a remote spot in northwest Spain, El Bulli Restaurant sits shuttered. The Michelin three-star dream of chef Ferran Adrià
was once open year round, then just for six-month stretches, and then finally closed for good last summer. Why would a hot spot that had 2 million requests for its 8,000 dining slots per year shut its doors? Adrià says the answer is all about innovation, and his approach poses an interesting question for startups and forward-thinking businesses
. Adrià recently told an audience
that he’s shifting El Bulli from a restaurant into a culinary think tank. What he’s after, he says, is the next omelet.
In the history of food, there are few omelets – completely new creations, not iterations on previous discoveries. Creating a new “first” in cooking – a conceptual omelet – requires time for creative thinking, for failure without punishment. So Adrià has decided production (his restaurant) should be secondary to creation (his think tank).
Can this translate to a business that is unable to shutter its doors to gain more creative time? Yes. You can build space for creative thinking into your daily business practices by:
- Failing faster: Have a great idea? Put it into action quickly, and then move on to the next idea if the first proves poor.
- Flattening bureaucracy: Multiple approval layers squelch creativity.
- Recognizing creativity: Celebrate individual successes, and let your team know you support new approaches to old challenges.
- Encouraging daydreaming and playing games.
For those of us without endless time for cooking up conceptual omelets, carving out that space during every workday is a must. It can be done, and the most successful startups are those that make it happen.
Are you ever sitting in a meeting when you start to feel your brain wandering? Instead of focusing on the task at hand, you start thinking about who might win “Dancing with the Stars” this season. I have to say, I am guilty of this more often than I’d like to admit.
It doesn’t just happen at work. Sometimes when I get home, my husband will be telling me a story about his day and halfway through, I zone out. Then I will say something like, “I think I just figured out a better angle for that story I’ve been pitching.”
Well, according to recent studies, this trait can be a valuable asset in creative jobs such as PR and marketing. Thankfully, I chose the right profession.
Several recent studies, summarized by Wall Street Journal Columnist Jonah Lehrer, reveal that not paying attention can often have a positive effect, especially at work. He writes, “For instance, researchers have found a surprising link between daydreaming and creativity—people who daydream more are also better at generating new ideas.”
Scientists also concluded that those who struggle to focus end up letting more information in, allowing them to be more open-minded and better problem-solvers. “People unable to focus are more likely to consider information that might seem irrelevant but will later inspire the breakthrough. When we don’t know where to look, we need to look everywhere,” writes Lehrer.
Now, as tempting as it might be, you probably shouldn’t forget about focus all together. Just like all good things, distraction should be practiced in moderation for the best results. After all, even the most creative ideas still need to be executed properly to be effective. Although now, the next time you get caught spacing out at work, you can tell your boss it’s because you are a creative genius.