Written by Cristina Salinas.
This month’s luncheon will focus on Innovative Strategies for Creative Work in Different Industries lead by Levente McCrary, Vice President, Account Management, Elizabeth Christian Public Relations. McCrary will discuss best practices for developing creative, successful communications campaigns across several different industries. Levente’s expertise spans numerous high-profile clients including Google, St. David’s HealthCare, Las Palmas Del Sol Healthcare, Texas Mutual Insurance Company, Cirque du Soleil and more.
For McCrary, music has always been a big part of life and can really help to set her mood. McCrary shared she enjoys turning to music when trying to focus and admits what has the greatest impact for her is the meaning and passion behind words. One favorite that keeps her inspired is Adele’s music. “It’s not just because her singing is flawless or her melodies are catchy; it’s because she sings with such passion that I can’t help but be inspired by her sound,” McCrary said.
We spoke with McCrary for a preview of WCA@Lunch on July 20.
WCA: What inspires your creativity?
As simply as it sounds, it would have to be a combination of a clear mind and deadlines. Some of my best ideas come when I’m not thinking about a certain project. I always make sure to take note of ideas immediately because if I don’t capture it right away it can be gone the next time I try to think of it. Conversely, the pressure of a looming deadline almost forces my mind to focus. I’ve always worked well under pressure and don’t try to overthink things.
As for creative writing or project work, I must confess…quiet time is my enemy. When I want my creative juices to flow freely, I’ll pop in my earbuds and listen to music. It’s usually nothing in particular, but definitely familiar songs so I’m not too distracted by something new.
WCA: What do you hope luncheon attendees will take away from your presentation?
When I attend a luncheon, of course I want to walk away with new ideas that I can implement myself. Whether it’s a specific idea or just a rejuvenated feeling about my work, I want to leave with an extra kick in my step. I nearly always find at least one nugget that inspires me, and I hope people can leave inspired after my presentation.
WCA: Can you share some of the areas that communications teams overlook that are ripe with opportunities for creative ideas?
Some of the most creative ideas or areas that are often overlooked can be found among company employees. We are great about being creative with the company as a whole, with products or capitalizing on timely news. However, we tend to forget about the unique, diverse people who make the company what it is. Great stories are found among employees, and it’s important to look beyond the c-suite for some of these ideas. Interesting stories could include multiple generations working at the company or focusing on an employee that has created a philanthropy that ties in with the work they do.
WCA: Who do you consider a creative mentor and why?
I don’t think I have a creative mentor necessarily, but for years I’ve relied on the group of strong women I work with on a daily basis at Elizabeth Christian Public Relations. We have such diverse backgrounds, so there’s always someone you can bounce ideas off of if you get stuck. Sometimes you may already have the answer, but you just have to walk down the hall and say a few things out loud to another person for you to see the big picture.
Beyond that, my early experience at The Richards Group in Dallas certainly inspired a level of creativity that I’ve taken with me throughout my career. To see a CEO like Stan Richards be such an involved company leader for hundreds of employees laid a foundation of passion for me. It showed that even after years of being in the industry, you can always find excitement in what you’re doing.