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The Weekly Wrap: Forget Creative Freedom – Content Thrives on Constraints

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And that’s a wrap of the week ending Aug. 23, 2019

This week I’m thinking about how rules and constraints foster the creative response … about what happens when consumers put a price on their data … about the futility of “snapshot productivity” … and about how the right creative brief means the difference between a great first draft and a creative disappointment.

Right creative brief means difference b/w a great first draft & a creative disappointment. @Robert_Rose #WeeklyWrap Share on X

Listen to the Weekly Wrap

Starting with the 30th episode, I’ve changed up the format and length. So, let’s wrap it up:

  • One deep thought (2:00): When you’re in a tight spot, are you more creative or less? As demonstrated again and again by MI-6’s most famous (fictional) spy – and, in real life, Soviet prison tattoo artists and patrons – tight constraints tend to stoke rather than dampen the creative response. I explain how creating too much time and space for creativity can keep your team from coming up with their best ideas.
Creating too much time & space for creativity can keep team from coming up w/ best ideas. @Robert_Rose #WeeklyWrap Share on X

  • A fresh take on the news (8:12): Consumers are starting to put constraints on sharing their personal information in 2019, according to a new study from the Advertising Research Foundation as reported in Media Post. Yes, privacy is a thing. And the offer of a more personalized online experience doesn’t change their reluctance to share their data. I offer my take on how to come up with better reasons to ask for the data – reasons that resonate with the people we want to reach.
  • This week’s person making a difference in content (12:43): I’ve read all four of Todd Henry’s fantastic books (The Accidental Creative, Die Empty, Louder Than Words, and Herding Tigers), so I’m thrilled to have him on the show. Todd helps leaders and organizations establish practices that lead to everyday brilliance. He speaks and consults across dozens of industries, teaching, as he puts it, how to help teams be “prolific, brilliant, and healthy.” We talk about:
    • Why you can’t systematize productivity
    • What managers of creative teams should do instead to foster the creative process
    • How he owes his success as a podcaster to a clear voice and point of view (and what it takes to develop your own)

Listen to our great conversation, then learn more from Todd:

  • One content marketing idea you can use (29:59): In keeping with this week’s theme, I’d love for you to check out a post CMI published late last year called How to Write a Great Creative Brief by Duncan Milne.

The idea here is that great content begins with a great creative brief – but many of us struggle to manage that. He offers a great checklist for improving that brief – and guess what he includes? Executional considerations … aka constraints.

The one surefire way of creating great #content is a great creative brief, says @ContentDuncan. #WeeklyWrap Share on X

Love for this week’s sponsor: Content Marketing World

Speaking of constraints, Content Marketing World is just two weeks away. The largest content marketing event in the world returns to Cleveland Sept. 3-6, with the very creative Mindy Kaling as the closing headliner. If you want to learn from and rub elbows with the best creative thinkers in the content marketing industry, this event is for you. Whether you’re a seasoned practitioner or a content marketing newbie, you’ll find your “tribe” at #CMWorld. Register today and use code ROSE100 to save an extra $100 off your registration.

The wrap-up

Tune in next week for another deep thought, a fresh take on the news, an interview with one brilliant person making a difference in content, and a great content marketing idea you can use. And it’s all delivered in a little less time than it takes for preseason football games to get boring.

If you like this weekly play on words, we’d sure love for you to review it and share it. Hashtag us up on Twitter: #WeeklyWrap.

It’s your story. Tell it well.

To listen to past Weekly Wrap shows, go to the main Weekly Wrap page.  

Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute