Sam Cavanagh: ‘creative is the new currency’

Staff Writer

Sam Cavanagh is regarded as arguably the finest Show Producer in Australian radio, having had a major influence on the success of ‘Hamish & Andy’. He has just spoken at the CRA conference, on creativity.

Sam commented that all creative people have a process, and what he loves about radio is the sheer volume of ideas;

“Radio needs original ideas and Creativity is the new currency. With Radio we get to execute  more creative ideas than any other media”

Here are Sam’s tips on the Creative Process.

1: Creativity is a skill you can learn

And get better at, there is no magic, great ideas are hard work.

2: There are no true original ideas

“steal like an artist” was Sam’s catchphase.

3: Questions are better than ideas

Identify where the good ideas are hiding. Is there something we can do with this? For example, ‘Artist vs the Playlist. “We ignore the music… we always focus on the content around it, we don’t really acknowledge the music”. So SCA came up with the idea of an artist covering another song

For example: Ed Sheeran doing a Taylor Swift video.

4: The freedom of a tight brief

“It’s urgent or going to Nova”. Be really clear.

5: No idea is ever perfect

‘A little bit of shitness is OK….perfection is the enemy of getting things done’

6: Pitching an idea is as important as having the idea.

7: innovation is often about what you’re prepared to let go off

“Facebook” post – different ways for launch promos this year form Craig Bruce.

8: Fans not Listeners

Think of your audience as fans not listeners.

Sam went on to discuss three habits that guarantee better ideas:

1: Control your environment

“Any planning has to be in a controlled space… engage in a conversation… that give me the best chance at an outcome.”

2: No idea left behind policy

“I have a document where I add ideas – collected them, collate them and review them. There is so much wastage in our industry”

3: What you consume – determines what you create.

“When I travel I deliberately buy magazines I never read, topics I don’t have an interest in like Golf magazines. Because I get to see how they advertise to a different market”

“Build a Creative Culture … fear is the kryptonite of creativity”

“Vulnerability is where creative people live”

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