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The Struggle of Creative Thinking

In the following articles, delegates to the 2016 IPREX Global Leadership Conference share their insights and key takeaways.

Leveraging Old Ideas for New Inspiration

I recently returned from the IPREX Global Leadership Conference in Philadelphia. It was an amazing experience where I was able to network, share best practices and learn from emerging leaders from PR and marketing agencies around the globe.

One standout session was called “Creative Steals.” Before meeting, we were tasked with sharing ideas and campaigns that we found inspiring or meaningful; during the conference, we talked through each program and why we had chosen it.

The session got me thinking about how to be a more creative thinker and how to use these skills for future brainstorming or planning sessions. We can find inspiration everywhere – even if it’s “stealing” good ideas. Not sure what I mean? Here are a few examples and how you can use the concepts and borrow ideas for your company.

Samsung Safety Truck:

[YouTube – Samsung Safety Truck]

About the campaign: Samsung tested a new Safety Truck, a trailer-truck with a wireless camera in the front and screens on the back so that cars behind the truck can view what’s in front of the truck and hopefully prevent car accidents that take place when passing on two-lane roads.

Idea to steal: Is your organization looking for a unique way to build brand awareness and goodwill with customers? Maybe your business has a unique technology or capability that can extend past their current product offerings? To get your creativity flowing, ask yourself, “What if we went beyond just promoting the product this time? Can our company solve an existing problem even outside our industry?”

 Transavia #SnackHolidays

[YouTube – Transavia #SnackHolidays]

About the campaign: For a limited time, budget airline, Transavia France, offered cheap flights with packets of “crisps” and sweets at supermarkets. Customers who bought one of the products before the #SnackHolidays promotion received a voucher code for a discounted flight.

Idea to steal: Is your organization and its industry primarily doing business online? Are you trying to break through an already cluttered space? To get your creativity flowing, ask yourself, “What if we went offline for this program? What’s something completely opposite of our existing strategy – and what if we did thatinstead?”

 T-Mobile “Drop the Balls” Super Bowl Ad

[YouTube – T-Mobile “Drop The Balls” Super Bowl Ad]

About the campaign: The commercial, which plays off Steve Harvey’s infamous mistake during the Miss Universe pageant, directly calls out T-Mobile competitor, Verizon, for using old data and compares T-Mobile’s coverage with Verizon’s.

Idea to steal: Do you have facts and figures that show why your company is superior? Are you looking for ways to take advantage of a current event? To get the creativity flowing, ask yourself, “Can we make use of data to support performance claims? Is there a current event or issue that we may be able to leverage in a fun, relevant way? Are we willing to call out the competition?”

The next time you’re struggling in a brainstorming session, why not steal borrow an existing idea? It’s as Mark Twain said, “There is no such thing as a new idea. It is impossible. We simply take a lot of old ideas and put them into a sort of mental kaleidoscope.”


ATLANTA – Rountree Group

“I had the privilege to attend the 2016 IPREX Global Leadership Conference (GLC) in Philadelphia, February 25-27. IPREX hosts the GLC once a year for all positions from CEO/Owner to account executives from all over the world. The sessions were filled with inspiring, engaging topics that sparked great discussions among our group. I wanted to share a few key takeaways from the conference. 

First and foremost, one of the biggest takeaways was the size and scope of the IPREX network. Currently, the network is comprised of 74 partners with 110 offices, made up of 1,870 staff members in 31 different countries. IPREX is truly a global network with expertise in a variety of disciplines and industries. 

The network of IPREX partners can be used for so much more than new business. The IPREX network is full of incredibly talented people who are more than willing to share best practices across a wide range of industries and disciplines. This allows your agency access to new ways of thinking, different cultures and different audiences. 

The other focus of the conference outside of the IPREX network was leadership development. Ken Jacobs (@KensViews) led a presentation on the difference between management and leadership. While managers execute processes and supervise teams, leaders inspire followers and create visions and strategies. Being a leader is significantly harder than being a manager, but in the end is infinitely more rewarding and it is something we should all strive for. 

I want to end by thanking the following people: Christopher Lukach, President of Anne Klein Communications Group, Matthew Burns, Account Executive at Anne Klein Communications Group, Michael Gross, COO and Senior Vice President of Anne Klein Communications Group, Michael Schröder, the global president of IPREX and CEO of Orca Affairs, Don Rountree, President of Rountree Group for giving me this opportunity and anyone else who had a hand in organizing the GLC. It was truly a great experience filled with great food, friends and learning.”