Whether it’s pitching media, working on a launch event or new business proposal – public relations requires a team effort of endless creativity and strategic thinking. So how do public relations firms come up with creative ideas for their clients? With a good old-fashioned brainstorm session.
Brainstorming can be an essential asset to any company. It’s an effective tool in any organization – regardless of size – to help generate new ideas with clients or internal account teams and keep the creative juices flowing. It also gives junior employees the chance to shine, senior employees the chance to flex creative muscles, and teams the chance to come together in creating cohesive plans.
As PR professionals, it’s crucial to think both like a reporter and client. Here are a few ways to get started on a brainstorm:
Put yourself in the client’s shoes – Imagine if you were the client or the CEO of the company –What would you want the company to do? How do you see the company making a splash in the market? Who is your audience? Where are you losing out to your competitors? What are you brand goals?
Zero Budget – Pretend there are no restrictions and if you could do absolutely ANYTHING for your client/potential client, what would it be? Create an over-the-top milkshake? Start a flash mob? Open a fake luxury shoe store and invite influencers? Get a little crazy! The sky’s the limit here.
Put yourself in the reporter’s shoes – Why would a reporter care about this? What would be an interesting take for a reporter to write on this? How would the headline read?
Alphabet Brainstorm – Using the letters of the alphabet, write down related themes and/or text. This can be divided so several groups can work on a portion of the alphabet or everyone can go around the room and contribute.
- For example, if you’re working on a travel project, start with the letters ABC and work your way down the alphabet:
- A – Adventure
- B – Business Travel
- C – Culture
- D – Destination
- E – Explorers
- F – Family
Try different brainstorming techniques
- Anonymous ideas – Sometimes the best ideas can come from a person who is too shy to speak up in front of a large group. Keep the ideas anonymous and pass around a pen and paper allowing team members to write down ideas and drop them into a box for your review later.
- Have an “all-hands-on-deck” meeting – Ask team members from different disciplines to weigh in. Everyone has personal anecdotes, unique life experiences and different perspectives. It helps when you have a fresh set of eyes.
Above all, and most importantly, make sure to keep an open mind and go with the flow. It’s one of my favorite things about Konnect Agency. We are a respectful and inclusive workplace. Any idea, no matter how far out there, is worth hearing out. Even if it sounds insane, crazy or outrageous, share them. You never know when it may spark another idea for yourself or a brainstorm partner. It’s important to create a safe space for the flow of ideas. No answer is wrong, and no comment goes unnoticed. It’s imperative to let everyone’s voices be heard.
Bottom Line: No idea is a bad idea.