What is brainstorming?
Brainstorming is a relaxed and informal approach which helps to generate creative solutions to a problem. It can be used when public relations students or practitioners try to develop an idea for a PR campaign and it can also guide them to a certain direction if they already have an idea that they wish to explore. During a brainstorming session people tend to come up with ideas and thoughts that can at first seem to be a bit crazy. This is because this exercise is especially designed to explore its participants’ imagination. The truth is that some of these spontaneous ideas can be developed into original and creative solutions to the problem which you are trying to solve.
To run a brainstorming session effectively you should:
1. Define your problem clearly and make sure everyone understands the concept of brainstorming.
2. Do not let anyone criticise, even the most imaginative or unimaginative ideas. You have to remember that judgement and criticism stifles creativity.
2. Appoint one person to write down ideas. This should be written in a format that everyone could see and relate to. And appoint one person to be the mediator, which decides whether or not the group deviates from the main objectives.
3. Encourage enthusiasm and try to get everyone to contribute. Make sure that everyone has a fair opportunity to talk.
4. Let people have fun! Let them come up with the most extreme ideas!!
5. In the end, make sure you generate a sufficient number of ideas.
During the brainstorming session, you can apply one of the following methods:
Create two columns, name them whatever you wish and then place an equal number of words associated with your idea in each column. Each member of the group should now try to associate one word from one column with another word from the other column. For example: “university” and “London”. Try to link those words together and look for interesting connections.
Also, each member of the group can write down his idea on a piece of paper, then, every two minutes, members should exchange papers and try to develop someone else’s idea. This method is particularly successful among shy people.
ps. We recommend you to watch this satyrical brainstorming session shown in Absolute Power that may give you an idea of how brainstorming should be done.
Good luck with your brainstorming session and let us know here at studyPR how you got on, even it is, just to say hello!