“I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.”
– Albert Einstein
Einstein may have been selling himself short, but he raised a valid point. Often, pursuing curiosity can result in successful outcomes.
How often have you dismissed something – a memo, an email, a news article, or a social-media thread – because it wasn’t interesting? Or have you been in an audience and tuned out the speaker because what they were saying didn’t connect with you?
These are all instances when your curiosity diminishes to a halt. And why not? It’s easy to disregard and ignore the mundane, or conversely, gloss over the finer details of esoteric and complex matters.
However, a lack of curiosity can be enemy no. 1 when it comes to writing, researching, reporting and unlocking creativity. A lack of inquisitiveness impedes the influx of new ideas, while a curious mind puts you on the path toward answering the ever-important question “Why?” And for PR professionals, being creative and answering the “Why?” is at the essence of the work we do.
Think about it: Drafting a press release for a new product and need to emphasize the product’s importance? Or amid a PR crisis and need to craft positive messaging to save the day? Creativity is at the heart of these tasks and is critical to achieving success in our work. And, as research has shown, curiosity breeds creativity.
So, in the realm of PR, how do we harness curiosity to unlock creativity? Here are a few tips that might help.
Practice Active Listening
Learning to listen is truly a skill, as active listening is critical to understanding vital information. Maybe you need to connect with a corporate leader or subject matter expert to obtain essential details about a company announcement, a new product launch, or an upcoming event. Active listening helps you secure all the information you need.
It can be easy to regard the importance of active listening as cliché, but to successfully listen requires effort. One must concentrate on absorbing the information and respond to it appropriately. Focusing on the speaker requires the listener to tune out their physiological noise, distractions, and wandering thoughts. It also requires the listener to digest the information without letting their own biases interfere.
The successful practice of active listening will not only result in understanding another person’s message, but it will also help broaden your knowledge with the perspectives of others.
Read and Write Frequently
Reading a wide range of material is essential to cultivating ideas. For instance, when working on news stories, reporters often immerse themselves in reviewing source material such as public records, financial reports, and other relevant articles. Additionally, reading reviews and soliciting the input of others can help spark ideas and result in gained knowledge or insights. Maybe you agree with what’s being said or written – or perhaps you think a counterpoint is needed.
Writing also can help you process the information you digest and stumble upon new ideas to write about or pursue. These ideas can come while researching a topic for another project you’re working on and result in many avenues for you to explore.
Follow Your Curiosity – and Stay Curious
For those who remain curious, the good news is that they will never run out of ideas. Curiosity leads to input for the creative well; there is always something new to explore or another perspective to consider.
If you stumble upon something that intrigues or surprises you, don’t hesitate to explore it further. When your curiosity is piqued, it increases your creativity. Follow your interests and maintain a curious mind. In doing so, you will attain the knowledge you need to be successful and maybe even surprise yourself with what you’re able to achieve.
The post The Importance of Curiosity in Writing and Reporting – and How it Applies to PR first appeared on Communiqué PR.