Businesses are constantly competing for their customers’ attention. Finding new and creative ways to communicate with clients is the central mission of marketing departments across the country. But it isn’t just for external marketing. Creative communication is good for business and your employees’ engagement with your company’s workplace culture.

What Does Creative Communication Mean?

Creativity is a core value for a wide variety of businesses. When it comes to communication, creativity can mean reaching customers or employees in new ways, using new mediums, or adopting new messaging. Committing to creative communication allows your business to embrace innovation, both in your marketing and in your business practices.

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Creative Communication Inspires Engagement with Your Business

When you commit to incorporating creativity into your business’s marketing strategy, it opens doors to engage with your customers in new and entertaining ways. Even if you work in a serious industry, finding creative ways to connect with viewers shows that you value their attention and invites them to engage with you – the people behind the company logo. Especially in the current environment, when Artificial Intelligence is taking over many forms of marketing, finding ways to create a human connection and engagement is crucial to making new and lasting relationships with would-be customers.

Often, creative communication includes including sensory images that invite customers and employees to engage with your company on a more interpersonal level. By adopting language and images that invoke sensory memory – like sounds, smells, tastes, or even memories – you can touch a person’s emotions more quickly, making them more invested in what you have to say.

Think of the popcorn sold at movie theaters. Even if you never spend the money for a bucket yourself, the smell evokes memories of good times with friends and your favorite stories. Creative communication is all about finding the popcorn equivalent for your business. Depending on your industry and unique business proposition, it may mean finding ways to make people feel nostalgic, intelligent, inspired, or even creative themselves. Once you have done that, it will be easier to make use of that inspiration to close the deal.

Creativity Isn’t Just for Marketing Communication

Adopting creative communication for your internal messaging is just as good for business as engaging in creative marketing is for generating new leads. Many workers say they are not being used to their full creative potential at work. They may find their work boring or feel they are excluded from key decisions about their work. Building creativity into your business can inspire your employees to think creatively and break out the habits and routines that lull employees into complacency.

Creative communication is especially important in decentralized work environments. When coworkers’ primary means of communication is through emails or social networks like Slack, you need to foster opportunities for them to engage with one another as people, not just emojis or avatars. During the pandemic, certain companies got especially creative in their communication strategies. While their employees worked from home they held meetings in video games, or even virtual reality spaces, to foster stronger connections between their remote workers.

But creativity doesn’t need to stop now that more companies are returning to the office. Instead, being face to face should give you even more opportunities for creative collaboration and communication.

How to Inspire Employees with Creative Communication

Even if you don’t feel especially creative yourself, you can inspire your employees to engage by using creative communication strategies. Here are some examples:

Get Visual

Invite employees to use images or gifs (graphic image format video clips) to debrief after a project, or as an ice breaker at the start of a meeting. You may be surprised which employees are emoji masters, and how using this new medium may invite connection in ways you have never seen before.

Ban Buzzwords

Find new ways to say common things. If your company regularly depends on jargon or buzzwords, ban them for a meeting to force everyone to talk about your work in a new way.  This can inspire creativity because employees will not be able to rely on common communication shortcuts and will help you approach issues differently using different language.

Celebrate Mistakes

Your employees may resist being vulnerable with their creativity at first. It is important for workers to know that even mistakes can result in the company “falling up” and that they won’t be punished or discouraged just because an idea falls flat. Celebrate new ideas and mistakes even if they don’t immediately bring results so that your workers will feel supported in their efforts to try new things.

Finding new and creative ways to communicate with your employees and customers will increase engagement, inspire connection, and improve collaboration at work. But it starts with taking a chance. Find one small way to do something new. Then do it again. Then invite others to join you. Soon creativity and collaboration will become part of your workplace culture, and your marketing strategy. And that will lead to success for your business, inside and out.

David Stanislaw is an organizational development specialist with over 25 years’ experience in facilitating business communication. Through business consulting and facilitation, David helps businesses and teams improve workplace culture and develop creative communication strategies. Contact us to meet with David to move toward high organizational functioning today.