Ross Monoghan sat down with Instagram Live virgin and our first international guest, Andy Green of the Dublin Conversation to talk about his philosophy of saying yes, his love for creativity, storytelling and public relations.
The passion for creativity
Andy has had a deep passion for creativity for as long as he can remember and as a result, in 1999, he published the book Creativity in Public Relations.
He was particularly interested in how all humans are creative machines but we all carry too much unnecessary baggage and therefore cannot reach our full potential. Saying yes and taking risks are essential to help open ourselves up to potential opportunities.
Andy was fascinated by the journey to work and found it a wasted period of time which could be used as an opportunity to develop ideas and inspire creativity. So, Andy decided to run creative classes on the London Tube to occupy many commuters on their way to work.
“We are all surrounded by many wonderful things. Sometimes we just need someone to open our eyes even wider.”
Journeying into public relations
The most inspiring person and the biggest mentor in Andy’s life is his younger brother Kevin, who is profoundly autistic and handicapped. As a result of his disability, Kevin is required to constantly innovate, change and adapt in daily life, which Andy says can be compared to the role of a public relations practitioner and is possibly where Andy’s love of PR started.
When Andy was at University in the 1980’s, he saw a job advert for a public relations practitioner at the local government office and this peaked his interest, he applied and was successful. After that he worked in utilities and agencies.
He’s had a portfolio career, taught at university, owned his own agency and worked at a social enterprise.
“I’m very much someone who enjoys new things, new experiences. I’m passionate about my work, my number one value is transformative communication and then creativity.”
Creativity in everyday life
On a daily basis creativity is a combination of coming naturally and being forced, says Andy.
There is a wonderful word called ‘sagacity’ which is the ability to see the bigger picture, because being able to see beyond the facts is essential in everyday life. This is something you can and must exercise everyday, just like a muscle.
Andy says looking at things in your world and going beyond identifying if they’re good or bad prepares you to spot opportunities. Your cockups are often your best ideas as they create new opportunities within a disrupted situation. It may sound cliche but “being comfortable being uncomfortable and having a growth mindset are critical assets.”
The secret to storytelling
Andy says most individuals in public relations are ‘new storytellers’, meaning they like presenting the facts, but storytelling is not about a straight relay of information.
Storytelling follows a narrative structure, so there will be a plot and then the characters need to work towards overcoming the drama. It is important to build a bridge between the information and the content. If you can get to the heart of the drama then you are on the road to a successful story.
The story of the Dublin Conversation
Andy says he always knew he was passionate about public relations and being involved with many organisations, but he always felt the theory could be improved.
Public relations emerged at the start of the 20th century because of mass media but we are now in a different era where technology has disrupted these mediums and, as a result, requires new thinking. Andy thought there was this perception that public relations was in the centre of the universe and everything was evolving around it, but in reality it is part of a bigger universe alongside advertising where they both travel around the planet ‘purpose’.
With the Dublin Conversation, Andy identified that public relations works in tandem with things like advertising but also sometimes in parallel.
“Public relations emerged from the need to earn trust and advertising emerged from the need to be known and get noticed.”
Andy is 61 years of age and he says:
“I am in the most fruitful, creative period of my life. This is mainly due to collaboration. I feel like I’m John Lennon who has only just discovered Paul McCartney. You can’t create a Mexican Wave by yourself. You have got to connect with others. I’ve had many conversations. I met one guy, who knew another guy and here I am today.”
The Dublin Conversation is creating a new era of purpose, goal driven communications by providing practical tools to make this change accessible. One of the most fundamental tools of communicating is having a conversation, so every month they provide different tools to help you have a different conversation.
“Making conversations purposeful so both individuals can walk away with more direction, more connection and greater power and capability. That’s the way we are going to change the world. One conversation at a time, from the bottom up. The answer is from within each and every one of us.”
To learn more about the Dublin Conversation visit https://www.commscanvas.com/
Link to the full conversation on Instagram Live: https://www.instagram.com/tv/CAuTS74ldly/