February 15, 2011
Having trouble breaking writer's block? Don't give up. Bring in more brains! Do a radio mind-meld. Gather two to five people in a room, turn on a recorder, take notes and have everyone fire out suggestions
Don't say no to any of them, no matter how outrageous, inappropriate or bad they might seem. You want to keep the flow going. The best thing you can say is, "Great. Where else can we take that approach? What's an extension of that? How much further can we take that idea?"
Create an atmosphere of acceptance, so no one feels shy about contributing. Keep it light and fun. Celebrate the contributions. Summarize the most useful ideas in the session if you have time or evaluate the ideas later. Let the participants know that their time and contributions were valuable.
Invite people you might not ordinarily think of - not just writers, but art directors, account executives, web designers ... the janitor. You'll be surprised at the useful ideas you get from people you'd least expect to come up with them.
Keep the session to 20 minutes.
You'll come away with more ideas for your clients' spots than you could possible use. You'll get ideas for future campaigns and ideas for clients you don't even have yet. File the recording and notes so you can refer to them when the creative well runs dry.
Remember, when a colleague asks you to help brainstorm for one of their clients, just say yes. You'll probably come away with ideas for some of your own.
The power of many brains storming together cannot be quantified. One suggestion will inspire other ones. You'll go off on tangents that you never had envisioned. Remember, you don't have to do it all yourself.