Design’s role in PR – How valuable is creativity?

May 19, 2022

Duane Turner

A common misconception in public relations is that the job is exclusively about being experts in creating awareness of ‘what to say’ but not necessarily ‘how to say it.” PR operates at its best when it balances the two to reach its intended audience And that can’t be achieved without creativity.

Think about the conversations you share with family and friends. Think about the effort you put in to invoke emotional responses; whether crafting a funny joke for a laugh or revealing vulnerability to gain sympathy. Both the content and presentation of the conversation matter to get the desired result. The same applies for those in the public eye seeking control of a brand’s narrative.

How does creativity end itself to PR?

But if all PR agencies are prioritizing the ‘what and how’ of a dialogue, what sets them apart? It all comes back to how creative an agency is willing to be. We know that researching, brainstorming and conceptualizing are all necessary steps towards achieving a successful media plan, but the design is where an agency’s innovation can set it apart.

To this day, the words of the late former Chairman and CEO of Sony, Norio Ohga, ring true: “At Sony, we presume all products of our competitors would have basically the same technology, pricing, performance and features. The only thing that distinguishes one product from another in the marketplace is its design!”

So, what are some of those distinguishing qualities?

Don’t dismiss the data. The way it’s presented to the public can make all the difference. With short attention spans and a preference for visually attractive content, design plays a significant role in making data appealing and digestible for a business’ target audience.

Take for instance a budget model that a bank uses to sell to clients. The information is crucial towards getting the client’s buy-in. But presented with infographics that illustrate how rising gas prices could influence a newly married couple’s ability to save could be the deciding factor on whether the bank is ultimately successful in reaching its targets.

These kinds of business complexities benefit the most from good design. And as technology improves, design can mitigate brand challenges and unlock business opportunities.

The important thing to remember is that design can’t replace a solid, strategic PR plan. But successful agencies know how to wield and design to support campaigns and garner results in a world where consumer choice is ever-changing.

As COVID changed the way we work, and in anticipation of our clients’ growing multi-channel communications needs, our agency embraced visual communications with the addition of talented graphic designer, Quinton Massimo. Q’s passion for good design, coupled with K&P’s record of excellence provides our clients with new creative avenues to explore.

Have a question? Interested in finding out more?