Typing… *Deep Sigh* Delete. Delete. DELETE. The all too familiar sound when you can’t decide where to go next. You’re stuck — no big ideas on how to propel your client or organizational goals forward. So now what? After hours of racking your brain, how do you go back to the drawing board and reframe your problem to produce results?
At Anglin PR, we often hit roadblocks to creativity or struggle to find the best solutions. And while we regularly play off each other’s individual strengths to move forward, sometimes we need to take a deeper dive when implementing complex strategies or utilizing the latest marketing and public relations tools. That’s when we go beyond brainstorming basics.
Don’t completely throw out mind mapping or notepads full of doodles, like you did in third grade. Take that foundation and integrate some of the tools we’ve found successful at Anglin PR into your workplace.
1. Delete your pride to see the payoff: The default mode for many in a rut is to sit and spiral with your own thoughts. After all, you know your project better than anyone, and it can seem tedious to bring others up to speed. At Anglin PR, we recognize that we’re better together, so we talk it out as a team. Involve creatives, account managers and anyone who can bring an outside perspective to your brainstorms.
Recently, we came together on the rebrand of a client as they transitioned from one career path to another. To get momentum going Debbie Anglin, founder and CEO, set a brainstorm meeting that included our social media manager, digital manager and even an intern to help land the perfect new name for our client.
2. Embrace the motto “there are no bad ideas”: While no one wants to throw spaghetti on the walls to see what sticks, don’t limit your brainstorm sessions to ideas that fit a certain mold. This is your time to be creative! Look to past successes and challenges, new technology, and leaders in your industry as a conversation starting point. Discuss ideas that are way off base productively to recognize why they wouldn’t work, so you can discover pragmatic, attainable results.
3. Bring in other experts: When you’re really stumped, consider going outside your immediate circle to involve other professionals. You may traditionally only think to bring someone to the table as a formal partner on a project. But a quick phone call or email to learn more about a topic or audience can enrich your brainstorm. You’ll find the right questions to ask teammates and new inroads to explore, spurring ideas with impact.
A great case study for gaining insight from other experts is our recent discussion with David Castillo, Oklahoma City Hispanic Chamber President. When cultivating new and meaningful ways to market to Hispanic and Latino audiences, Anglin PR bounced ideas off Mr. Castillo and trusted his personal experience with the community to guide our creative solutions.
4. Set feasible action steps: There’s nothing more frustrating than having ten new possible solutions with no way or no one to implement them. Fast and furious brainstorms can leave you more confused than before, which is why at Anglin PR, we always make sure to add a little structure to our creative process with a set a course for our next moves. At the end of your brainstorm, assign an action item to yourself or a teammate. Steps can be small like selecting one idea to do further research on. This boost of confidence in the process will carry you through to make your ideas a reality.
5. Regroup informally: Don’t be concerned with taking too much time sharing ideas. While we’d all like to knock it out of the park on the first try, sometimes solutions need a second look. We often balance our need to keep project momentum with spinning our wheels by having informal catch-ups with one or two colleagues. This helps us simplify and streamline ideas that come out of a large group brainstorm.
We hope our tips can help you achieve your next great solution. If you want expert advice when crafting your next strategy, reach out to us at Anglin PR.