Today’s post is about innovation and creativity in media and the role I feel they play in the day-to-day running of a newspaper.

Unlike advertising revenue, creativity cannot be measured. Similarly, the feeling a client gets when you create something specifically for them cannot be measured. I strongly believe if you come up with creative media solutions for clients, in turn revenue will reflect this. If great journalism is the cornerstone of any great newspaper, then I think innovation should be the cornerstone of every sales floor. 

There is a lot of talk in the industry at the moment about the emergence of creative people working within the walls of media owners.

Firstly, let me make myself clear: I don’t believe that any one person is more creative than another simply because they have the word “creative” on their business card. Anyone can be creative, and we all need to be creative. It could be anything from coming up with a new revenue stream for newspapers, to an idea which can increase circulation through a marketing promotion, to coming up with an idea that has never been seen before. Our business is diverse and so is creativity.  

The latest trend is seeing former creative agency staffers taking on roles to help media think creatively. However, media is a totally different beast, and there is a lot of fear amongst advertising agencies that media owners are trying to step on their toes to create the ads. They should fear not. 

A creative agency is fixated on the USP, or single-minded proposition of what sets its product apart from the competitor’s. It’s the agency’s job to find that one difference and to highlight it and dramatise it. 

Our job, I believe, is to create platforms for creative agencies to build their message on. This means innovation. 

It could be an app, it could be a new supplement in a newspaper, it even could be a completely new newspaper. The hardest part is letting creative agencies know about these new platforms. When you think about it, creative agencies are inundated with new media opportunities every single day. So, forming a relationship with a creative agency is vitally important to your business. Work side-by-side with them to make your platform or innovation come to life. They are the custodians of ideas; they need us to help them share these ideas. 

The point is media owners don’t need to get creative with a headline, but through new platforms. We don’t need to write the ad for them, just show them something cool they have never seen before, and then we will see a change in the briefing process. At the moment, and I can only talk from an Australian perspective, we are briefed by media agencies to “come up with a media first.” Usually, the creative agency is not involved in this process, and this is where I feel the opportunity to do some truly amazing work falls down. “Media firsts” are sought after by media agencies and media owners on a daily basis, making inventing something new every time a difficult task. 

Creative agencies are changing in ways never seen before. They are looking for opportunities other than the big-budget, 60-second TVC’s. Newspapers have new, creative opportunities that can be implemented for advertisers far more quickly than a television network can. Therefore, innovation and creativity in newspapers have never been more important. Form relationships with some creative agencies, show them your innovation and technology and do something great — together.