Recently at the PRSA Western District Conference (which I’m sure we told you about here, here and even here) I had the opportunity to sit in the roundtable discussion “Brainstorming: How to do it well, techniques for making it work in big and small organizations to spur ideas, great thinking” led by Dawn Doty of Linhart Public Relations. Unlike the larger breakout sessions, the roundtable discussions were short and intimate – and excellent opportunity to pick other PR professionals’ minds.
And what better topic to pick people’s minds about than their minds!
While we have all heard “there are no bad ideas” during a brainstorm session, many of us still make the mistake of combining the creative, think-tank portion of cultivating ideas with the down-and-dirty logistical part of planning. To prevent any stifling of creativity, Doty recommends making a clear distinction between the two sessions – both by who is involved and what is discussed.
After everyone’s creative juices have been wrung dry – which should never take less than an hour – conclude the brainstorming session and schedule the planning meeting with the account team for the following day. Meanwhile, encourage other individuals to be inspired by the share charts and to offer their own ideas.