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Harnessing creative power for marketing.

San Antonio's atmosphere--warm colors, southwestern style and historical landmarks--provided the perfect environment for this year's Spring PR & Marketing Conference, "Inspiring Creativity, Delivering Results," held April 30-May 1. San Antonio, Texas, has been an adaptive town throughout history, and the architecture attests to that. Newly constructed buildings stand downtown, blocks away from the Alamo, a San Antonio landmark since the 1700s. This culture-rich town has not only changed with the times, but done so while retaining the art, style and character of its heritage. This ability to be creative while faced with change was the focus of this year's opening general session.

Titled "Embracing Creativity as a Change Catalyst," this session invoked excitement and energy from attendees. It touched on the hot topic of change--how fast it's approaching the telecommunications world and what marketers can do to conquer it with creativity. Speaker Steve Swafford, balance warrior for Leadership Outfitters, reminded attendees that consumers no longer have the patience they once did. Once, overnight delivery was fast enough; now, people demand PDFs ... ASAP!

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Swafford claimed that this change is one of several factors killing creativity, and reminded attendees why creative marketing is so essential to coping, adapting and flourishing under changing conditions. He revealed secrets to increasing creativity, tips on overcoming creative roadblocks and ways to work with different personality types to cultivate the most creative results. He told attendees that having faith in their abilities, refraining from passing judgment, being open and aware, and asking challenging questions would increase creativity. He informed his audience that brainstorming is an excellent way to hone creativity skills, and encouraged his audience to work together to formulate common approaches to his exercises.

In fact, the opening general session was peppered with teamwork--some attendees were so keyed up to start an exercise, they would start before Swafford finished delivering his instructions. It was refreshing to see professionals so excited to jump into group work. Veteran marketing experts chatted with engineers who've been tasked to handle marketing for their small telcos. Professionals tossed around a stuffed brain and played with pipe cleaners--all in the name of creativity! This session was the ideal way to kick off a conference packed with guidance on inspiring creativity to deliver optimum results.

Conference-goers also attended sessions that provided insight into branding, bundling, billing systems, designing promotional materials, creative problem solving and marketing for the competitive landscape. NTCA's solution center, an informal gathering of conference attendees at the end of the conference, offered an opportunity for attendees to provide valuable feedback on hot topics in telecommunications marketing.

The next PRNet event, the PR/Marketing Fall Workshop, will be held October 22-23 in Charlotte, N.C. See you there!

By Angela S. Powers, NTCA Publications Manager
COPYRIGHT 2007 National Telephone Cooperative Association
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2007 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Powers, Angela S.
Publication:The Exchange
Date:Aug 1, 2007
Words:455
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