How to Host a Communications Plan Brainstorm
Last week, we discussed how to develop your communications plan for a specific audience and learned that your audience includes both internal and external stakeholders. This week, we’re going to share a few tips for actually creating your communications plan, and how to involve all members of your organization.
To host an effective kick-off or brainstorming meeting, you’ll need to follow a few rules.
What do you want your communications plan to say, and to whom? Create a short list of questions you want the answers to, and deliver them to your team before the meeting so they have time to do a little brainstorming on their own.
While you may be tempted to leave marketing strategy to those on the marketing side of things (or, to just do it yourself if you’re a really small outfit), we think it’s best to include team members from all departments. Good ideas aren’t limited to certain job titles!
Don’t jump right into the tough stuff. Explain why everybody’s there. Make them feel welcome and let them know they will be heard. If you can, have another team member facilitate the brainstorm, so everyone’s not pitching ideas to “the boss.” You might get more honest input this way! Another way to get honest and more engaged feedback is to break the larger group into smaller groups, and have each “team” come back with ideas as solutions to a problem or question.
Make a List
Make a long list. Don’t worry about the feasibility of some ideas – just keep adding them to the master list. You can create a flip board for each question, or designate a certain wall in the room for each question (and use post-its for ideas).
You may have a preconceived notion of how your communications plan or various strategies would look. Let those notions go for now. Chances are, the brainstorming session will improve upon those ideas – or come up with completely new solutions!
While brainstorming sessions are typically seen as an open or free space for creative thought, they do require some planning and structure to make them productive. So, take some time to plan for your meeting about planning. It’ll pay off in the long run!
P.S. Oh, and don’t forget the snacks.