PR professionals need to expand their creative diets

By Lauren Volmink, a director of Atmosphere Communications

You don’t have to look further than the latest top award shows to notice that the big winners are idea-led campaigns that use a mix of earned, owned and paid channels to deliver standout results. For PR professionals to succeed in this idea-led age and find our voice at the ever-blending marketing table, we need to expand our creative diets far beyond the ‘traditional’. We need to get comfortable being uncomfortable, and the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity is a great place to start..

By Lauren Volmink, a director of Atmosphere Communications
By Lauren Volmink, a director of Atmosphere Communications

I had the privilege of attending the festival for the first time last year and can honestly say that it has profoundly changed my perspective on the industry. Arguably the best celebration of world-class creativity and innovation out there, it’s a must (at least once) for PR professionals wanting to stretch themselves and remain relevant. And let’s be honest, who wouldn’t want to spend a week in the South of France!

The week-long festival gives you a unique opportunity to:

  • Connect. The festival is a melting pot of marketing and communications professionals from all corners and all industries. Where else will you find over 12 000 like-minded individuals in the same place at the same time? From informal sundowner meets on the Carlton terrace to taking part in the official networking programme, you’ll have a chance to mingle and share ideas with the best minds in the industry and make connections for future collaborations.
  • Learn. With a jam-packed programme of workshops, seminars and master classes hosted by top international thought leaders and innovative thinkers, your mind will be bursting at the seams by the time you board the flight back home. From creatives and marketers to politicians and astrophysicists, the spectacular line-up will leave you struggling to find a gap for a quick coffee break! This is where you’ll pick up on the big trends shaping the industry, gain insight into the shifting consumer mindset and get the inside track on the latest technology and communication platforms.
  • Be inspired. Award-winning creativity is of course at the heart of festival, and there is certainly no shortage of it. Outside of the award shows throughout the week, you’ll be able to explore all entered work at your leisure. A curation of the best ideas from around the world, you’ll be able to browse through the interactive technology exhibition category by category. You’ll also have the chance to join the Q&A sessions in the jury room to hear what did well and, most importantly, why.

At the end of it all, you’ll fly home with a newfound desire to push the boundaries and a new definition of what’s possible. You’ll come back fully equipped with the knowledge, insight and tools to challenge yourself to think and do different.

But hey, don’t just take my word for it, there’s still time to book your ticket before this year’s festival kicks off on 21 June. I’ll see you there!

It’s a brave new world out there. Don’t get left behind.

Be bold. Take chances. Break the rules.