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Why we should all take more risks

25 February 2015

Being afraid to fail is something that will hold you back. It is the thing that will stop you creating something memorable and impactful. Playing it safe will not only always get you the same old results but, in fact, these will continue to diminish over time as your ideas lose traction in the ever shifting world of PR.

Last week, I attended the Goldsmiths graduation ceremony for Masters and PhD students in media and communications subjects. An honorary fellowship was awarded to former student Adrian Sutton who has won awards for his music for theatrical hits War Horse and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time. And his words of wisdom as this new generation went out into the world of work? “Take more risks, and embrace failure.” His point was that only by accepting failure and learning from it can you have the understanding to achieve more.

Of course, aiming for something so unnaturally unattainable that you can only ever fail, is not what is meant – it is about using all your learnings and experiences to allow for creative innovation; to explore new ideas and to identify new areas of opportunity. And if that doesn’t produce results straight away – evaluate, learn and try again. But keep trying.

At Forster, we take pride in creating bold, exciting campaigns for our clients. We already know what works, but each time we take a message to an audience, we always think ‘what else can we do here?’ It isn’t about taking a gamble with clients’ time and money – it’s about always building on what we’ve done.

For example, last week we launched a major consumer education campaign for the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS). Having managed their press office for some time, we wanted to show how impactful their message on advocating safer cosmetic surgery and professional standards could be if we created a bigger bolder campaign around it. So we developed Think Over Before You Make Over, a bold, attention-grabbing campaign to make people stop and think about surgery properly. The campaign has appeared across online, print, trade, social media, blogs, regional, stakeholder newsletters, and been picked up by Sky, Channel 4, Channel 5 and ITV, with ITV covering it in four different programmes.

As with all of our projects, we’re closely monitoring the impact and reach of this campaign, and look forward to building on it further in the future, unimpeded by the fear of new ideas.