Make the Most of Your Brainstorm

October 12th 2016

Does this situation sound familiar to you? You, along with several colleagues, are sitting around a conference table “hmm-ing” as you try to come up with the next Big Idea for a current or prospective client.  We’ve all been there before – even the most creative compilation of people can hit a road block while brainstorming. To ensure that you’re maximizing your team’s time and fueling collaboration and creativity, we’ve put together five tips to jumpstart any brainstorm.

  • Share information beforehand. It’s simple and efficient – by sharing details on your brand or their goals prior to the brainstorm, you’re giving time for people to come with ideas already generated. You’re also saving yourself time in the meeting that normally would need to be spent giving a background on what you’re hoping to achieve. You also never know when inspiration might hit someone – they might come up with a brilliant idea for your client while commuting, showering or watching TV.
  • Just say it. Don’t sit there worrying if your idea is silly, not doable or just wrong. Get it out there because it might actually be amazing or at the very least jumpstart another idea that is the right fit. At the very least, once you’ve put that idea out there you’re able to stop focusing on it and start generating additional ideas. The worst thing you can do in a brainstorm in stay silent.
  • Be diverse. It’s easy to assume that if you’re brainstorming for a beauty brand that you should invite all the beauty girls to participate…and that’s not wrong, but it can sometimes be difficult to think outside of the box when you are so ingrained in a specific industry. While people who live a certain clients’ lifestyle certainly have value and might have the winning idea, it’s prudent to invite people who have nothing to do with that industry to bring fresh eyes and singular concepts that may lead someone on the team to connect the dots in the best way.
  • Put yourself in check…a little.In such a creative environment, it can be difficult to not let our imaginations run wild. We all love blue sky thinking, but sometimes we need to hit the brakes and think about if this idea will resonate with customers, is it something people would want to post or write about and also if this idea is doable with the budget given. Posing these questions in a brainstorm helps to focus the session back on goals – creating content that will resonate.
  • Make it fun. Who doesn’t love a friendly contest? Almost everyone has a competitive streak in them—especially in PR –so take advantage of that to fuel creativity. Split the group into teams and provide an incentive to win.


By Cynthia Patnode

Cynthia is an Account Supervisor in Mfa’s Consumer Products group, specializing in the development and execution of strategic communication campaigns, consumer product launches, and high profile events. With a longtime passion for working on brands at the intersection of fashion, beauty and wellbeing, Cynthia excels at garnering national awareness for niche brands and helping established organizations become more appealing to new audiences. And, she’s always on the hunt for the next big idea.


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