Written by: Sarah Kinsela
As public relations professionals, our creativity is relied on heavily, both internally and with our clients. We’re consistently tasked with proactively brainstorming new, out of the box ideas that will make a difference for our clients and their customers. This means brainstorms take up a significant amount of our time and are something we’re always working to perfect.
Through these regular brainstorming sessions, we’ve learned the positive impact they’ve had on our company culture, as well as our client’s marketing campaigns and in turn, their bottom line. They give our team an opportunity to bond over a common cause – likely a new program or fun a package idea – while using our creative minds to mold something strategic and impactful.
Below, I have outlined some tips for executing a creative, engaging and successful brainstorm:
Plan Ahead. It’s important to equip your team with an overview of what the brainstorm will be about, as well as any key details, well in advance of the meeting. This gives them time to do research on the topic and come prepared with ideas to share. You should also come to the meeting with a couple ideas of your own to get the conversation started and create an open space for others to share their creative contributions.
Make It Fun. The best way to get others to think creatively is to take them out of their day-to-day work and make it fun! One way to do so is by adding an interactive component – provide large white paper where team members can draw out their ideas with colorful markers. Another way to do so is by providing food or drinks that tie in with the theme of the brainstorm – for example, if the brainstorm is about a ‘National Rosé Day’ themed hotel package, bring in a bottle of rosé and rosé colored cookies for team members to enjoy while strategizing. Finally, hold the brainstorm in a different part of the office, or even better, outside! By providing these added elements, your team will be more likely to actively participate, and brainstorms will be something they look forward to.
Have A Notetaker. What’s the point of coming up with great ideas if you can’t remember what they were? Assign a notetaker ahead of time and explain to them the key elements you want included in their notes, as well as how you’d like them formatted – are you okay with just bullets or would you like full sentences, etc. Make sure they feel comfortable typing quickly and are clear on your instruction, that way you can take their notes and directly share the ideas with your client.
Follow Up. Your team likely just spent thirty minutes to an hour, maybe more with you coming up with ideas to support one of your client’s upcoming initiatives – don’t you think they’d want to know what the client thought? After you’ve shared your ideas with the client, let your team know what they decided to implement, especially if they went with an idea one of your team members came up with! This will create stronger team morale and showcase that ideas generated from brainstorms make a difference and come to life.
With an ever-changing industry and competition continuously arising, brainstorms are a powerful way to ensure your team is always presenting your clients with the latest and greatest ideas that deliver impactful results. By using the above tips, your brainstorms will not only become more effective, but they will encourage creativity and build team morale within your company.
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