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Time pressure is PR's biggest creativity limiting factor, claims research

Too much work, not enough time, this is the main reason PR chiefs say there is not more innovation in PR according to a recent poll from executive search firm Whitney Murray in partnership with The Pulse Business.

Which one of these, if any, hinders innovation in the PR & Communications industry?

Too much to do

Discussing modern pressures, Aimee Postle, director at agency Prova PR, says: “PR is not alone in this phenomenon, but we are operating in a 24/7 business environment in which everyone wants instant responses to immediate enquiries, and ever-quicker turnaround on their requirements. Couple that with an uncertain economic climate, a need for every discipline to prove its return on investment, and it is easy to see why PR people – amongst others – put pressure on themselves to deliver as much as possible, as quickly as possible, with as much impact as possible.”

So many options

Molly Aldridge, global CEO of agency M&C Saatchi PR, adds that social media has really added to the stress: “People in PR are more time poor than ever due to the advent of social media and consumer journalism in a nutshell – and the extended depth and breadth of what we now do as modern public relations practitioners. Great PROs have to think about how they’re telling their clients’ stories across all channels – extending our role to deliver brand impact from traditional column inches to social strategy, content production and experiential activation.”

Create time

Aldridge says one solution is to make time: “For me, as a business leader, it’s about setting firm boundaries to find a few hours of headspace a week to think about what’s next, and how we can constantly stay ahead for our clients – and our industry.”

Take a breath

Also emphasising the value of slowing down, Prova’s Postle says: “Of course, the best results, most effective strategies and most exciting innovations come when we give ourselves time to think. We all do ourselves a favour when we stop, breathe and focus. While the adage ‘speed thrills’ is still very much the case, the clients who value business consultancy and thought-through strategy rather than simply tactical implementation will understand that, often, the results are worth the wait!”

So if you are reading this whilst trying to do a dozen other things, take a breather. Time out is never time wasted.


The Pulse Business/Whitney Murray Innovation Index May 2019 draws from c150 Communications Directors based in the UK.

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