Have you hit a creative block? Or maybe just need some inspiration to help get you through your day?

TED Talks often help me when I’m facing a challenge, be it at work or in my personal life. TED is a non-profit organization devoted to “ideas worth spreading.” They offer up some amazing knowledge from the world’s leading thinkers.

Here are a few of my ”must-sees” for digital marketing and PR folks.

Start with Why.


Simon Sinek: How great leaders inspire action

The core of public relations and marketing is communication. All you have to do is tell people about whatever product or service you offer. Then they buy it, right? Maybe. Maybe not.

In this talk, Simon Sinek discusses how great leaders (whether they are organizations or people) inspire action. The key is in how you tell your story. Stop talking about what you do and start talking about why you do it. What’s your purpose? (Hint: It better be bigger than I want to get rich.)

Simon uses Apple as an example. If they were like everyone else, their marketing message might be: “We make great computers. They are beautifully designed, simple to use and user friendly. Wanna buy one?”

Kind of uninspiring. I don’t really need that computer, do you?

Flip it around to how Apple actually communicates: “Everything we do we believe in challenging the status quo. We believe in thinking differently. The way we challenge the status quo is making our products beautifully designed, simple to use and user friendly. We just happen to make great computers. Wanna buy one?”

Wow. It’s a subtle change. But, I’m more inclined to want that computer now. And you probably are too.

People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. The goal is not just to do business with people who need what you have; the goal is to do business with people who believe what you believe.

Next time you are crafting public relations and marketing messages, think of that, and start with why.

Look for opportunities in unlikely places.


Renny Gleeson: 404, the story of a page not found

In this TED talk, Renny Gleeson speaks about how one company turned broken web experiences (404 errors) into a genius marketing campaign. A lot of marketing people might watch it and think of it as inspiration for turning around a negative experience or how to better connect with your audience when things go wrong.

But, I like to think of it as a bit more than that. Marketers need to look for opportunities in unlikely places. Go beyond your typical angles; look for something that could put you on the map for thinking differently.

As Renny says, “Well-designed moments build brands.”

Find Inner Creativity.


Elizabeth Gilbert: Your elusive creative genius

From brainstorming “big ideas” to developing interesting and engaging content, creativity is a skill marketers must possess. But… a lot of people claim they aren’t creative.

In this TED talk, Elizabeth contemplates just that. She says creativity isn’t a rare trait that only artist’s posses, rather it is in all of us.

So, as a writer, a PR pro, a content marketing guru, or design expert, how do you find that inner creative and overcome the creative block? Stop being afraid and just do your job. If you can manage to show up and not succumb to the pressure, the creative will come.

Do you have any favorite TED Talks? What should I watch next?!

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