How to Kill Creativity/Have a Perfect Brainstorm

The spring semester of 2010 has just started for Hofstra University.  For the ambitious student staff of PRestige Agency, that means many meetings, group projects and late nights.  Sometimes we pack our schedule to the point where at the end of the day, we are spent and the synapses in our brains are no longer connecting.  Creativity is necessary for success and it must be nurtured.  Also, working in groups is unavoidable in any profession, and learning how to work in a group productively is not easily mastered.  During my Advertising 101 class with Professor Debra Pollack last fall, we learned some tips on “How to Kill Creativity” and also “8 Rules for Brilliant Brainstorming”.  Of course, I had to put my own PR spin on it.  Go forth and have the perfect brainstorm.

How to kill creativity

–          Treat your target audience like a statistic (of all fields, the practice of public relations teaches that all audiences’ opinions matter)

–          Make your strategy a hodgepodge

–          Have no philosophy (knowing the mission of your agency/your group is the key starting point to any brainstorming session)

–          Analyze your creative as you do a research report

–          Make the creative process professional (the best brainstorming sessions are when the conversation strays into other topics and then some one gets a “lightbulb moment”)

–          Say one thing and do another

–          Give your client a candy store (plan what’s possible)

8 rules for brilliant brainstorming

–          Build off each other (encourage ideas and really listen to everyone’s perspective)

–          Fear drives out creativity (ensure that you are creating a welcoming environment for ideas)

–          Prime individuals before and after (before you begin, make sure everyone is on the same page and afterwards make sure everyone knows what their responsibilities are)

–          Make it happen (don’t give up halfway through a campaign!)

–          It’s a skill (practice practice practice – every well rounded individual has some sort of creative outlet)

–          Embrace creative abrasion (who doesn’t love a debate?)

–          Listen and learn (No one likes the person who talks over everyone else.  Tell them to change their ways or they won’t be invited back.)

–          Follow the rules or you’re not brainstorming and pretending just wastes everybody’s time. (Don’t be frontin’)

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