A guide to virtual brainstorming success

Published: Aug 18th, 2021

Updated: Jan 04th, 2024

COVID-19 has put a halt to many things, but it hasn’t stopped to need for creative PR. Brainstorming sessions are great for bringing the whole team together to share ideas and kickstart impactful campaigns.

But how do you host effective brainstorms when everyone is joining virtually? Aside from the dreaded moments where you realise you’re still on mute or your WiFi has failed, online meetings can make it difficult for the conversation to flow and for everyone to make their contributions heard.

At Sapience, we haven’t let this get in the way of providing exceptional corporate comms for our clients. Keep reading for our tips on how to hold a successful virtual brainstorm.

Mix up the voices

One benefit of virtual brainstorming is that people can attend who might not normally be available in-person. Getting input from team members who work on a variety of other accounts is a great way of ensuring that your ideas are kept fresh, and may offer some interesting strategies informed by the work of other sectors.

For example, at Sapience we recognise that knowledge can be shared across sectors like technology, finance and property. By inviting all of these account teams to virtual brainstorms we can share expert insights into a range of media agendas, and ensure that our PR strategies are informed by past successes.

You never know what brilliant ideas might come from the minds of your colleagues elsewhere in the company. If you make sure everyone is involved, you can maximise your chances of unique campaigns.

Keep it brief – but establish actions

It’s easy to allow virtual meetings to exceed their scheduled time and to keep brainstorming until you feel you have come up with all possible ideas. However, virtual fatigue can be felt as much as intellectual fatigue, and extended sessions can mean a plateau in productivity.

Shorter sessions can encourage a blast of creativity and can help to ensure that the focus stays on key ideas. Gather everyone’s input and then allocate follow-up meetings to a few key team members to make sure that any initial stand-out ideas are fleshed out to their fullest potential.

Do your research

It pays to make sure that everyone joining the brainstorm has done some initial preparation – particularly if they are joining from different accounts. Make the process easier by sharing key information beforehand, like the client website and themes of potential campaigns, in order to avoid time being used inefficiently.

Strong PR will react to current affairs and news items to ensure that content is relevant and insightful. If there are any articles that will offer an essential background to the brainstorm, make sure that these are shared with the team and encourage people to read around the topics.

Get creative

Brainstorming sessions mark the beginning of outstanding PR. Getting them right can elevate your communications strategies, but more importantly, can bring your team together for great moments of collaboration – holding the meeting via virtual platforms shouldn’t need to put a stop to that.

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