"Creativity in public relations" by Andy Green chapter 8 "Red light thinking: the evaluation of ideas"
“Creativity in Public Relations”
by A. Green
“Red light thinking: the
evaluation of ideas”
Lomonosov Moscow State University
Faculty of Foreign Languages and Area
Fulfilled: Antonova Anastasia
Red light thinking
emphasizes judgement, reason, evaluation, and
where things may or may not work.
Underlying the use of Red Light thinking must
be a commitment to derive the optimum added
It focuses on what makes an idea
viable, robust from potential
criticism, and able to survive in
order to do justice to the quality of
the original idea.
You can screen ideas quickly in several
ways. The first task is to weed out some of
the ideas, so that the rest are manageable
and time and energy can be concentrated on
those with most potential.
Screening method 1
A simple screening process could consist of the
- Is the idea compatible with the brand values?
- Is the idea compatible with the public relations
objectives and strategy?
- Is it legal?
- Can it be developed within a realistic budget and
- Is it likely to provide added value?
- Are the commitments and risks acceptable?
Screening method 2
is used to categorize the ideas into groups with a common theme or
element. The screening could be based on the following three broad
1. Realistic ideas or themes that can be put into action immediately.
2. Intriguing ideas that are still embryonic but that have potential as
a starting point for thinking about at a later stage.
This clustering of large numbers of ideas can make it easier to make
choices between groups as opposed to selecting individual ideas. It
helps you to think more strategically about the ideas as a whole.
Putting an idea into action
The next step is to consider how you will put the
idea into action. A useful technique is a form of
critical path analysis, where you seek to identify
what could go wrong, examine the key causes of
potential failures, and identify any preventive action
that may be required.
Deciding what ideas to run with can be difficult.
An easy way of finalizing your choice of
different creative options is simply to ask
someone who is not connected with the work
what they think. The closer they are to the target
audience you want to reach, the better.
Informal external contacts
One tactic is to develop new products – not just in
the laboratory, but working closely with what are
called ‘beta test site’ customers. These forward-
looking customers are leading users of products,
usually at the cutting edge of innovation and at the
forefront of developing new ways of doing things.
Formal external groups
The use of focus groups, or panels, to consider new
ideas is a well-established technique in qualitative
market research. A group representing a sample of
the target audience can be used. New ideas can be
formally run past the group so as to gain the
members’ reaction, and potential acceptance or
rejection can be assessed. The group’s views are
monitored and can be interpreted by a
The techniques centering on Red Light thinking that
are described in this book are useful for sifting
material and helping to avoid killing off potentially
good ideas at birth. They also assist in providing a
focus for evaluation and further investigation.
Yet, no matter how
thorough an evaluation
is, the decision to run
with a particular idea
will rest with someone