Five tips on how to brainstorm productively

    Do you know how to brainstorm productively? Working with a team to develop strategies, campaigns and innovative proposals makes up a significant part of a communications professional’s job.

    When under a time crunch, it’s important to know how to get the most out of a brainstorming session. The team at Adoni Media have collected their top tips for brainstorming effectively and getting the most out of ideas.

    1. Get everyone together

    The team at Adoni Media agree that the most important part of brainstorming is getting everyone together to share ideas. Ideas often develop faster in a team environment.

    Lots of businesses often use the round-robin technique which involves the team sitting around a circular table and discussing the task together. Round-robin-style brainstorming sessions are especially good for creative briefs, as it facilitates free-flowing discussion.

    Find an environment that encourages group participation. Boardrooms, office spaces and cafés are the most common places to brainstorm, but you can always switch it up depending on the purpose of the brainstorming session. Make sure that all documents, timelines and information are available on a shared platform.

    Five tips on how to brainstorm productively

    1. Get visual

    Adoni Media’s Head of Digital, Milan Narayan believes whiteboards are an essential brainstorming tool for any office.

    “I always use a whiteboard to map out strategies. Getting my thoughts up on a board helps me to stay on track and on schedule,” Milan said.

    Using a visual space, like a whiteboard, also helps communicate ideas better in a team.

    Lots of people are visual learners, and it helps to support ideas with graphics and images. For creative tasks, create mood boards that reflect your inspiration. Mock-up storyboards using images from the web to illustrate your ideas.

    Adoni Media PR and Marketing Consultant, Hayley Goodlich is a big fan of categorising topics by colour. Hayley uses coloured sticky notes to sort ideas by clients and to easily identify a task’s status.

    “We use a colour key to indicate what stage a task is at. Simple things, like green for ‘published’, really helps keep everyone on the same page. Especially when working on platforms like Dropbox and shareable online file locations, you want to make sure its easy to see what needs to be done,” Hayley said.

    1. Give everyone a role

    Gathering input from a team with a range of skills will diversify the discussion and provide unique and original insights.  Allow each team member to showcase their point of view.

    Include a member from each area of the company to double check ideas and prevent inconsistencies.

    Discussing strategies with a team will help find any flaws or limitations that need to be workshopped.

    If your company has interns, offer them the chance to join the brainstorm session. They can contribute ideas and jot down notes for the group– it will be a great learning experience for them.

    1. Give yourself some structure

    Deadlines, objectives, budget all need to be considered.

    Adoni Media’s PR and Communications Consultant, Lexi Kehl stressed the importance of a clear brief.

    “Everyone needs to be on the same page with what the goal is. Start by thoroughly going over the objectives,” said Lexi.

    1. Do some background research

    Never go into a brainstorming session cold. Research the client and target market beforehand.

    It is important to be in-tune with current events so that your ideas are relevant and original.