Annual Conference Reporter on the Scene:
Keeping Austin Weird - Authentic Insight from Texas Creative
Presenter: Daniel Berkal, The Palmerston Group
Left to right) Professor Ryan Romero; #Texascreative students Rocio Santiago, Esther Shin, Cailyn Wesstrom, Joel Linkewer, Nick Gonzales, and presenter Daniel Berkal
Summary of Conference Session
A unique session at the 2020 QRCA Annual Conference was the “Keeping Austin Weird - Authentic Insight from Texas Creative” panel presentation led by Daniel Berkal.
Art directors and copywriters-to-be enrolled in the #Texas Creative program at UT-Austin share big-picture insights they've gained while completing class assignments. For those QRCs that work in communications, these people will become future clients. But the world has rapidly changed. Different tools are available. The age of creative-test focus groups may be over! The panel focused on questions like “What are the people looking for in their qualitative research?”, “What kinds of methodologies and approaches are most valuable to them?”, and “What are the needs of the modern creative industry?”
Key Session Takeaways
Personally, I had so many takeaways from this presentation. Gaining this kind of insight was absolutely invaluable to my work. A few highlights from the discussion are:
- That we, as qualitative professionals, need to "look for the human truth", "use insights to describe how people do things or how things actually function”, and “be out where the people are".
- To deal with challenges to your creative idea:
- "I try to think through what the rationale behind the idea is."
- "There's always water in the well and we need to keep coming back to it."
- What does the creative process look like for you?
- "At the beginning, you try to get the 'walls' out of the way. The human truths blow through any personal bias."
- "Being a great communicator is saying things very simply and clearly."
- How do you know when a creative idea is good?
- "People laugh."
- "They nod their heads."
- "Good ideas bring more ideas. Bad ideas stop the conversation."
Advice from the students' professor, Ryan Romero, on how to accept criticism: "If five people tell you you're drunk, you probably should sit down on the curb."
Try to look out beyond the process and focus on keeping research human. Dan Berkal brought students and QRCA members in a room without giving either group any explanation of what was "supposed to happen" or "why." It did, and we gained from it. Thanks, Dan and #Texas Creative!"
QRCA Reporter on the Scene:
Laurie Bredenfoerder, BValley Communications