Whether it is for strategizing blog ideas, social content or publications to pitch, brainstorming is an important job of public relations professionals. Most agencies would argue that these team meetings drive innovation and allow for the best ideas to come through. However, it can be easy to get sidetracked or lose the purpose of the session entirely if a few systems are not first put into place. At Eclipse, we’ve honed our team brainstorming skills and here are our tips to make the most of your session:
Ready, set, go!
The best way to start any team meeting is to come prepared. This means scheduling out a specific block of time for the session, knowing exactly what you’re strategizing about and keeping it simple. Find a time during the day where your team can give their undivided attention to the process. If the purpose of your meeting is to come up with blog topics, come ready with a few ideas ahead of time. This streamlines the process and ensures the best use of valuable time. The best thing you can do for a brainstorming session is to support your team no matter what, as sharing confidence can carry the conversation right to your next big idea.
Cook up, spitball, run with it
It can be intimidating to openly share out of the box ideas with colleagues, especially when it’s easy to worry that not everyone will like the ideas you propose. Having confidence in your ideas allows you to think big, and spitballing as a group creates an environment where you can bounce them off each other to find the perfect title or approach. Starting with a general thought and then narrowing it down to a specific topic with your team can also induce more ideas. Don’t be afraid to share your thoughts even if it isn’t the best plan, as someone else might be able add their take to it and then your team succeeds in the end anyway.
Write down your ideas because seeing is believing
When brainstorming on content – such as blog topic or a pitch – consider writing out your ideas on sticky notes or a white board for everyone to easily see. Being able to visually see what is being proposed can help your teammates noodle through the brainstorming process and build upon ideas already shared. Sometimes the best ideas are a compilation from multiple sources.
Get everyone involved
Worried that your next brainstorming session may be one-sided? To get everyone involved in the process, take a round-robin approach with your brainstorming session. Ask everyone to come to the meeting with three pre-written ideas to share with the team. Once everyone presents their idea, take the session to the next level by seeing how you can improve and build upon the ideas presented. This method helps to ensure that everyone has the chance to share their ideas, not just the people who typically speak out.
Brainstorming with your team doesn’t have to be stressful or time consuming. If you plan ahead, allow yourself to spitball and provide a positive environment, these sessions can become an exciting part of your workday. Public relations is an industry that values creativity and teamwork, so being effective at brainstorming can give your clients the best outcome and opportunities possible from your agency.