Claire Reynolds is head of PR at Tank, an award-winning digital PR agency based in Nottingham, UK. Overseeing campaigns for clients in retail, tech, design and construction, Claire heads up a 26-strong team of writers, ex-journalists, digital experts and creative minds to deliver PR activities which truly make their mark for clients.
An ex-style blogger with a keen understanding of the influencer market, Claire is an outspoken advocate for supportive, inclusive and constantly learning work cultures. As the youngest ‘head of’ a department at the agency, Claire is also a previous winner of the CIPR Outstanding Young Communicator Award.
Since the lockdown, the impact on the economy has been radical. For those in comms roles used to working shoulder to shoulder, it does raise challenges around being truly creative together – but there are 3 ways to collaborate successfully, albeit virtually.
Prioritise a solid creative brief
Pre-lockdown, the success of any idea workshop would largely depend on the quality of a good brief – and this is absolutely crucial now it’s harder to clarify meaning or tone of voice in person.
When working independently for long periods of time, we are naturally filling the gaps in our own minds without as much influence or clarification from our colleagues. This can be mentally isolating and negatively impact confidence as well as creativity.
So if you’re writing a brief – make it detailed, punctual, and easy for its recipients to ask questions and get it straight in their own minds. And if you are receiving the brief, interrogate it fiercely and don’t be afraid to push for more detail.
Embrace your new ‘work’ environment
Working remotely quite literally means our ‘office environments’ are no longer in an office. Though this can be tough, being in more comfortable settings at home could inspire a different perspective or approach on a particularly tricky brief.
Remote working should not mean being chained to a desk for eight hours, so don’t be afraid to switch it up and take your laptop to a different room or even outside (if the British weather permits!)
Fewer in-person meetings and physical distractions from colleagues naturally equate to more screen time too, so even picking up the traditional pen and paper can help creative juices flow if you need a technological break.
Be mindful of the loudest voices
Back in our workspaces, it was natural that the loudest or most confident brains would often be those to speak up first. This is enhanced by our new remote working styles as many video conference facilities literally prioritise those who speak louder – and mute the rest.
As such, creative leads should be mindful of the contribution that the quieter members of the team can provide. Not relying on a free-for-all ‘meeting’ style, or committing to deliberately managing any workshops to enable the quieter members of the team to contribute (or even after the session has finished!) can often enable the most considered responses to any creative brief.