The Door | idea house CEO and founding partner Charlie Dougiello offers some tips about how to turn creative ideas into effective PR strategies in the latest “PR’s Top Pros Talk” video interview with Doug Simon.

The first, and maybe most important, tip: Start with a good idea. “You start with a great creative idea that solves the problem and then you build the campaign backward against the execution of that idea,” Dougiello says.

To get those good ideas, he tells Simon, you don’t just need good people, you need a diverse mix of people and viewpoints. “If you bring a bunch of people who look the same, sound the same, think the same into the same room,” he says, “you’re not going to have an idea that’s going to be worth anything.”

Dougiello also thinks a firm’s approach needs to remain versatile and flexible—“not every idea has to solve every possible goal,” he tells Simon. He stresses that the main point of any campaign is to tell the client’s story, whether that’s through earned media, influencer relations, social media or another channel.

COVID’s negative effect on the marketplace has made communicating with colleagues and peers a bigger priority than ever, he says. “My best advice is to pick up the phone and call those people that you’ve worked for in the past. Hear how they’re advancing their businesses.”

He also notes that in the current environment, it’s necessary for PR people to learn how to be salespeople. “It’s really about how you can find a way to be a really great salesperson and take those ideas and get someone to buy into them.”

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D S Simon Media helps clients get their stories on television through satellite media tours and by producing and distributing content to the media. The company also produces live social media events.