One of my favorite things about working in public relations is that we get to come up with creative ideas that will bring attention to a brand. When describing our services to potential clients, we like to say that we focus on traditional public relations, media and anything else you can think of. The “anything else” often-times refers to idea generation, which can be our greatest asset.
Idea generation usually starts with a perfectly imperfect brainstorm. If you’ve ever attended a brainstorm where the leader wasn’t prepared, then you already understand the need for the session to be perfect. You can make it perfect by creating a project brief, conducting the meeting in a timely fashion and wrapping it up with a detailed summary. The imperfect part is absolutely the most fun, so let it be just that. Engage your participants with a team building exercise that will get them talking and, more importantly, laughing. Once people are at ease with one another, they will feel more comfortable sharing an idea that they fear is foolish.
Our team was once given the task of coming up with a great April Fool’s Day pitch. I had recently been reading about how you could book a celebrity cruise and I thought it sounded funny so, with that in mind, I suggested something similar for our client. Everyone HATED my idea! Since our goal was to create as many ideas as possible, we included that horrible idea in the presentation to the client. As luck would have it, they were looking for something wacky, so they picked my idea. I didn’t actually think it was the most earth-changing idea, but I was shocked that so many of my co-workers hated it so, I still gloat about it on a regular basis!