How to Structure a Creative Brainstorm into Organized Chaos

As Dunder Mifflin has shown us time and time again with its endless conference room meetings, nothing spurs creativity like a team brainstorm. However, the most effective creative brainstorm is one that is organized. You must have a plan in place to achieve maximum results, otherwise your discussion might as well be a happy hour. Whether it’s a virtual meeting or in-person discussion, here are some tips on how to structure a creative brainstorm into organized chaos. 

Stay on Track

The best way to keep everyone focused in a brainstorm is to set goals before starting. Think of it like you’re preparing for a day at Disney World. While you may have fun aimlessly running around the park to various attractions, you’re more likely to make the most of your time with an itinerary. Develop an outline for your discussion with a defined goal and give it to your team at least a day before the brainstorm. The extra time allows everyone to start mulling ideas and generate better results from the meeting. 

That’s not to say that you can’t still socialize and have conversations that don’t pertain to your outline. A brief chat on an unrelated topic here and there – like a funny TikTok video or the latest Netflix show you’re binge-watching – keeps everyone loose and reduces the pressure to come up with the perfect idea. Just be mindful of how often these conversations are happening. If you feel the team is lingering on an unrelated topic, jump in and refer to the outline to get the discussion back on track. 

Don’t Overdo It

We all know the feeling of sitting through a meeting that’s taking entirely too long. Attention is waning, we’re drifting off somewhere else and retaining any information that’s being shared is going to be a challenge. Those same pitfalls await if your brainstorm begins to stretch into two or more hours. It’s best to cap your discussion at 90 minutes to make the most of your time and ensure maximum participation. 

If your team is having its brainstorm in person, consider setting a timer if you’re worried the discussion may get away from you. For virtual meetings – something we’ve all had to navigate during the days of quarantines and social distancing – a time limit can be set on many platforms such as Zoom and Google Hangouts. Don’t fret if you feel that you didn’t develop enough ideas during the allotted time. You can always have a follow-up discussion with an individual or smaller group later.

Follow the Leader

Having a clear facilitator can go a long way toward keeping your brainstorm organized. Imagine the pandemonium of an auction without an auctioneer leading the way. There would be a barrage of prices thrown around the room with no clear identification of a leading bid. Just as an auctioneer ensures a smooth sale, a defined coordinator for your brainstorm will keep your team focused on the discussion. 

As long as they understand the outline, anyone on your team can serve as a facilitator during a brainstorm. Identifying a coordinator before starting the discussion ensures that at least one person remains focused on your goals and corrals any lingering irrelevant conversations. Keep in mind that while one person facilitates the discussion, another member of your team should be taking detailed notes. There’s nothing worse than wrapping up a productive meeting before realizing that you wrote none of your new ideas down. 

No Bad Ideas

When it comes to the concepts and solutions that are tossed out during a brainstorm, quantity is just as valuable as quality. Even if the initial idea doesn’t hit the nail on the head, it can spark a more in-depth discussion that ultimately leads to a concrete plan that accomplishes a goal. Ensure that everyone on your team feels comfortable to share their thoughts freely. Any idea that relates to your goals is always a valuable addition to your team brainstorm. 

Our team has adopted a “no bad ideas” mentality for all of our brainstorms. What started as a playful explanation for a less than stellar idea has since turned into a legitimate engine for thoughtful, engaging discussions. Sometimes the quietest person on the team has the best ideas—all they need is the encouragement to share those concepts with the group. 

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Get an Outside Perspective

After you’ve completed your brainstorm and come away with a whole list of exciting new ideas, it’s easy to want to start working immediately. Resist the urge and instead explain the solutions to someone who was not part of the discussion. Saying them out loud gives you another opportunity to process those ideas in real time, while the outside perspective could further improve the concept. 

This outside perspective could come from another member of your team. Maybe someone was on a business call or in a client meeting during the discussion but generates a new idea after hearing the results of the brainstorm. If your entire team was present for the initial discussion, consider going outside your organization to a trusted friend or mentor. Along with the true outside perspective, those unaffiliated with your team often bring a completely different point of view that could produce a solution that you had not yet considered. 

In addition to the cultivation of creative ideas, a brainstorm can also be effective in establishing similar plans for your business strategy, particularly as the COVID-19 pandemic has forced us all to find new ways of solving business problems. If you’re having trouble developing your plan, we have the solution in the form of a disruption session or co-creation workshop that puts you front and center with a group of experienced marketers to develop real solutions for customer challenges. 

 

McDonald’s

Marketing / Communications

We help one of the world’s best brands increase sales and guest counts through reputation management and content marketing that successfully maximizes paid media efforts.
 

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Are You the Next Rock Star on the Ghidotti Team?

The Ghidotti Team is overflowing with full-fledged rock stars. Sure – we’re looking for the best, brightest, most creative, most organized. You get the picture. But what we REALLY want is someone who we can laugh with, depend on, learn from and do great work together. Learn more about who we’re looking for and what you can expect.

Ghidotti is currently hiring for three positions listed below – Account Executive, Account Supervisor and Media Relations Manager.

Account Executive Job Description: 

In the Account Executive position, emphasis is placed on growing independent work within the areas of project management, client relations, media relations, digital/marketing, and/or lead generation among other skills. You are the face to our clients and will play an integral role in daily communication and should be able to demonstrate tactical excellence. 

  • Write client and internal correspondence effectively and with limited supervision.
  • Successfully plan and execute client activities such as media tours, digital and social campaigns, business missions and/or other special events. 
  • Proactively identify blog content story ideas and work with the supervisor to develop. 
  • Develop relevant blogs, e-newsletters and website content effectively and with limited supervision. 
  • Successfully manage independently the execution of all client content calendars, which can include media relations pitch calendars, blogs, social content and paid media campaigns.
  • Exhibit competency and efficiency in drafting copy for client marketing materials and/or campaigns, such as website content, e-newsletters, collateral materials, paid media campaigns, etc. 
  • As it relates to social/digital media, regularly suggest ideas, manage the planning, and comfortably execute campaigns on behalf of clients. Efficiency with Canva, a plus!
  • Assist in the management of interns, when applicable. 
  • Be proficient in WordPress.
  • Easily navigate agency platforms such as Cision, TVEyes, Sprout Social, Sprinklr.
  • Depending on the needs of the service area, responsibilities may extend beyond the items above as skill sets, client contracts and other extenuating circumstances dictate.

Apply for this open position by emailing Bethany Siems at bethany@ghidotti.com.

 

Account Supervisor Job Description: 
In the Account Supervisor position, a staff member will be responsible for assisting and managing the public relations, content marketing, digital media, account services and/or creative/strategy for clients. This position requires fully developed specialty skills, a strong understanding of the industry landscape and an understanding of client priorities and objectives.
  • Serve as the account strategist/lead and oversee/play a clear leadership role on at least three clients.
  • Manage the implementation of work plans and ensure client deliverables are successfully met on deadline.
  • Play a leadership role in the sales process by identifying additional services to sell to existing clients and assisting with RFP responses, new business proposals, presentations, etc. with senior leadership or independently.
  • Display a strong understanding of and effectively communicate Ghidotti’s service offerings to existing clients.
  • Successfully supervise at least one junior staff member, including providing guidance on their professional growth.
  • Begin to play a role in the agency’s marketing efforts, guiding aspects of certain campaigns and/or helping to execute in their areas of expertise.

Account Services: 

  • Play a clear leadership role in the planning and execution of integrated marketing campaigns for clients.
  • Develop and write comprehensive strategic marketing plans for clients.
  • Handle vendor contracts and ensure proper billing.
  • Demonstrate a clear track record of successfully meeting deadlines and timelines.
  • Handle day-of logistics on behalf of clients, responding quickly and effectively.
  • Assist in providing leadership and professional development on client relations, helping team members improve their skills in managing conflict, presentations, sales, etc.

Client Strategy: 

  • Develop or oversee the visual content creation for client materials, including e-newsletters, website content, digital campaigns, marketing collateral, etc.
  • Oversee the development of marketing materials and branding campaigns.
  • Manage creative marketing campaigns on behalf of clients.
  • Demonstrate a clear track record of leading brainstorms, and providing and implementing creative ideas for proposals, presentations, etc.
  • Continually provide new and ‘fresh’ ideas for proposals, new business proposals and current clients’ marketing campaigns.

Apply for this open position by emailing Bethany Siems at bethany@ghidotti.com.

 

Media Relations Manager Job Description: 

In the Media Relations Manager position, a staff member will be responsible for assisting and managing the public relations, content marketing, digital media, account services and/or strategy for clients. This position requires fully developed specialty skills, a strong understanding of the public relations industry landscape and an understanding of client priorities and objectives. 

Main Responsibilities – General: 

  • Serve as the account strategist/lead and oversee/play a clear leadership role on media relations client accounts.
  • Display a strong understanding of and effectively communicate Ghidotti’s service offerings to existing clients. 
  • Successfully supervise at least one junior staff member, including providing guidance on their professional growth.

Main Responsibilities – Media Relations: 

  • Develop strategic media relations plans, direct management and outreach for client accounts with the supervision of Senior Leadership.
  • Perform with Senior Leadership to prepare a plan for strategic crisis communications.
  • Manage and facilitate the execution of media relations outreach for special events, programs and major initiatives.
  • Perform as spokesperson and coordinates official responses to media inquiries.
  • Conduct media training with clients in preparation for external media interviews. 
  • Support framing and development of main message points for better positioning prior to media interviews.
  • Prepare speeches, talking points and varied communications materials assisting client spokespersons.
  • Write pitches, backgrounders, press releases, key messages and blog posts.
  • Manage and monitor reporter hotline, client media relations calendar, metrics, media relations processes and press release approvals.
  • Propose ideas proactively for media pitches to stimulate media coverage.
  • Consistently pitch stories and secure strategic media placements assisting client reputation and business goals.
  • Manage and supervise media events along with initiatives defining company stories.
  • Identify proactive stories for trade, business as well as consumer media across multiple client industries.
  • Develop and maintain close media relations to improve press efforts.
  • Identify brands promoting opportunities and improve awareness of services and products.

Main Responsibilities – Client Strategy: 

  • Develop or oversee the visual content creation for client materials, including e-newsletters, website content, digital campaigns (webinar/live stream events), etc.
  • Demonstrate a clear track record of leading brainstorms and providing and implementing creative ideas for proposals, presentations, etc.
  • Continually provide new and ‘fresh’ ideas for new business proposals and current clients’ PR campaigns.

Apply for this open position by emailing Bethany Siems at bethany@ghidotti.com.

 

Rock Star Environment

We strive to create a fun, engaging atmosphere where high fives, chicken minis, and celebrations are commonplace. We lift one another up, honor achievements and reward hard work.

  1. Professional Enrichment

    Whether instructor-led, web-based or sharing during Fireside Friday, we are always learning more!

  2. Community Engagement

    We love the state of Arkansas. Our team enjoys outings to locally-owned businesses and pride ourselves on community involvement. In addition, employees are often offered free tickets to community events to get out and enjoy life with friends and family.

  3. Team Building

    Quarterly adventures for the team!

  4. Winter Recess

    We shut this place down at the holidays so we can all rest, relax and reinvigorate for the new year.

  5. Summer Fridays

    We get an early jump on the weekend every Friday during the summer.

  6. Volunteer Time Off (VTO)

    Along with your PTO, you also get VTO to use to support your favorite charity or organization.

Does this describe you?

Apply for one of our open positions or just send us an email letting us know why you should be part of this Rock Star team. Email bethany@ghidotti.com.