15 Ways to Get PR Inspiration

by PR Coach on September 1, 2012

Dryer lint Sushi Roll Sculpture? Creative!

Deadlines looming? Stuck for ideas for your next blog post, article, new business pitch or fresh ideas for a presentation? We’ve all been there. I’ve got 15 ideas to share for PR inspiration or to help you get rid of the dreaded writer’s block.

Eclectic? Absolutely. I use one or more of them when I’m searching for a bright idea or a solution. Some have PR sense, others offer a creative springboard. So stop procrastinating and take a little end of summer stroll down the following list and find a creative solution that works for you.

15 Ways to Solve PR Writer’s Block

    1. Nieman Storyboard Twitter: @niemanstory
      Harvard’s Nieman School of Journalism site explores narrative journalism. The “Why’s this so good?” series has more than 50 examples of terrific storytelling in journalism. At times they’re evocative or hard-hitting. In every case, they’re powerful, inspiring stories that will in turn move you to write your best. Read my post about three of their very best stories here.
    2. BuzzFeed Twitter: @buzzfeed
      I always find something interesting to read on BuzzFeed. From politics, technology and lifestyle to celebrities, OMG, geeky, trashy and WTF, you’ll find it all. With attitude. It’s the perfect place for random or amusing stories, a quick hit of serendipity or a smile over coffee. No pretensions. Kind of like fast food. No matter what, you’ll be amused, bemused or just move on. Caution: it’s often silly but highly addictive.
    3. Scoop.it  Twitter: @scoopit
      Browse for interesting topics like storytelling, social media, PR, creativity or hundreds of other curated topics presented in a well-designed magazine format. The beauty is it’s a site where passionate curators gather terrific content, share it and the Scoop.it search engine provides an excellent discovery tool. It’s not over-commercialized like many aggregation sites. Whenever I’m confronted by writer’s block, I search for interesting new content or curate and add to my own Social PR posts which you can follow here.
    4. Brain Pickings Twitter: @brainpicker
      Here’s how the wonderful chief huntress-gatherer Maria Popova describes her site:”Brain Pickings is your LEGO treasure chest, full of pieces across art, design, science, technology, philosophy, history, politics, psychology, sociology, ecology, anthropology, you-name-itology. Pieces that enrich your mental pool of resources and empower you to combine them into original concepts that are stronger, smarter, richer, deeper and more impactful.”Couldn’t say it better. Go find your inspiration.
    5. Byliner Twitter: @theByliner
      Byliner always finds me something great to read, usually in long form. You’ll find great stories and great writers like Margaret Atwood or Jon Krakauer, leading journalists and thought leaders in the arts, science, technology, business, travel and more. Excerpts and many articles are free while other full length pieces are available for a small charge on Kindle. What a refreshing change for serious readers!
    6. If It’s Hip, It’s Here Twitter: @lauralsweet
      If innovative design and visual stimulation work for you, you’ll love artist Laura Sweet’s creative website. Be forewarned. This is like the biggest creative buffet table in the world. You’ll encounter everything from aquariums, vintage suitcases, 50-year-old whiskey bottle design winner, inflatable pods and dryer lint sushi sculptures (visual at top) to folded book art, Elizabeth Taylor Barbie dolls, houseboats, Space Invaders watches, grass lined flip-flops and more. Totally random. If it is hip, you really will find it here.

      Highland Park whiskey

    7. Smashing Magazine Twitter: @smashingmag
      Founded in Germany in 2006, Smashing Magazine delivers innovative information for Web designers and developers. If you want website, design or visual ideas and inspiration, you’ll find it smashing.
    8. Being Peter Kim Twitter: @PeterKim
      Ever been stumped for social media marketing inspiration? Peter Kim curates this incredible wiki of more than 1200 social media marketing examples. When you’re looking for business ideas, you can do no better than these marketing minibites searchable by industry, company, social media example, country and name of the person who submitted the idea. Another example of why the internet, and sharing, are so cool.
    9. CasePlace.org Twitter: @aspenbized
      If you wear Manolo Blahniks or brogues to your office on Wall Street, The Aspen Institute may be your next source for inspiration. It houses 10,000+ business case studies searchable by topic, industry, discipline and more. Abstracts are free and full case studies are available for modest prices from $3-$5 each. WOW!
    10. Cool Infographics Twitter: @rtkrum & Best Infographics Twitter: @hotinfographics
      Infographics are art, science and communication all wrapped in one. What’s great is infographics contain data and are a perfect springboard to ideas for a post, article or other content creation. I browse these two excellent sites for data, creative and visual ideas. In just a matter of minutes, I always get three or four ideas to explore. Best of all, they usually contain facts and sources not to mention fresh designs.
    11. Trend Hunter  Twitter: @trendhunter
      A wonderful newsletter and source for ideas from Chief Trend Hunter Jeremy Gutsche. With contributions from more than 108,447 trend spotters around the world, Trend Hunter tracks “what’s cool before it’s cool” (MTV). I check the What’s Popular posts and the website often and I’m never disappointed. Is it any wonder they have 2,310,943 Facebook likes and more than 35 million page views monthly?
    12.  Kurt Elling Embed Golden Lady
      Sometimes the only cure for writer’s cramp is jazz. If you love jazz, vocalese and artistry and you don’t know singer Kurt Elling, you’re in for a treat. I’ve seen him four times. He is my musical muse and he always soars with luminous vocals backed his pianist collaborator Laurence Hobgood and a tight band. Listen to Elling’s inspiring take on an old King Crimson tune Matte Kudasi. This cat can scat and he’s not only a lyricist, Elling’s a thoughtful writer too. He describes New York City in his Guerrilla Diaries: “New York walked by me today in gold blue red brick pants & while eating an orange she eyeballed me suspiciously – sidelong – & kept right on walking without ever breaking her stride.” And a little later in the diary:”Impressions of the road on the way to Newark: Wires and lonely smokestacks amid abandoned land with bright green trees and tagger-assaulted rocks. Ponds and swamps between swirling highway miles accompanied by burning Christian McBride footpads. A cardinal. One blooming tree. Then, suddenly, warehouse outskirts like the far west side of Rockford, Il or like Alameda, Ca. – poor, small shops, wood frame and some brick houses one foot apart. Then, impossibly, flowers and sidewalks and kids on their way to school in happy clusters. Older gents sit in doorways laughing with cops in clean morning uniforms under giant, low- flying dust-laden cottonball clouds threatening rain.”A few more musical suggestions. Watch this soulful live Paris concert cover of Stevie Wonder’s Golden Lady (below) or savor the vintage Elling ballads Esperanto and  Nightmoves. If you’re falling for his musical genius, enjoy this stunning one-hour concert in Burghausen, Germany. Be ready for a treat but don’t get lost in the reverie.
    13. Other PR Bloggers
      Read recent posts by your favorite bloggers or discover inspiring, new PR bloggers. It’s a great way to break loose with fresh ideas. You’ll find 230+ of the best PR bloggers here.
    14. The PR Coach  Twitter: @theprcoach
      If it’s PR you want, it’s PR you’ll get in the virtual PR Library with 7,500+ curated and annotated links and resources in 32 disciplines from  bloggingcrisis management and do it yourself PR tips to media relationsmedia training,  PR jobs, social media and more.
    15. Walk, Run, Stretch, Breathe
      If you haven’t found inspiration or fresh thinking in my 14 earlier suggestions, there’s only one thing left to try. Push away from the keyboard and go for a walk, run, do some yoga stretching or breathe deep and imagine you’re doing something you love. That’ll be me skiing backcountry or solo canoeing. Far away from it all. Your blood will soon be flowing and your head will be clear. Rinse and repeat if necessary.

I’m so pleased to share these few ideas with you. It’s fun to stretch out and just go exploring once in a while and I hope you find your inspiration just when you need it!

Do you have a favorite cure for writer’s block? Where do you go to get your creative inspiration? I’d enjoy hearing from you in the comments below.

If you’d like to get inspired weekly, you can also sign up for the PR Coach blog here. Meanwhile, I think I’ll fire up another Kurt Elling tune.

Author: Jeff Domansky
Visuals:
Slater Barron’s Dryer Lint Sushi Roll Sculpture via Laura Sweet
Highland Park 50-Year-Old Whisky Limited Edition Bottle via Laura Sweet