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How to Run an Effective Ideation Session

Digital PR

Everything we do at Passion Digital starts with an idea, but generating new ideas and bringing them to life can be as challenging as it is exciting. The aim of any ideation workshop is to generate a large pool of ideas that you can develop and narrow down into their most innovative and practical state.

But how do you actually achieve this? To help, we’ve put together the ultimate checklist to help you master your next ideation session, which our talented and knowledgeable PR Manager Inna will walk you through.

Identify the Goal

The first step of an effective ideation process for digital PR should be identifying the purpose of the campaign. Ideally, participants should receive the brief at least a week before the session and go into the brainstorming session prepared and fully aware of the objectives of the campaign. These can be anything from increasing awareness or impacting specific metrics to traffic amplification, increasing sales or generating links from trusted, reputable websites.

Invite the Right People

Don’t shy away from inviting people outside of your creative or PR teams to contribute ideas – it’s important to diversify your group and bring different perspectives into the mix. This way, you can ensure that ideas are generated during the ideation stage in an unbiased and constructive way, and participants will be more likely to challenge each other’s perspectives.

Be Prepared

It is important to understand everything about your client, from who their competitors are to what content they are already creating and what concepts could be relevant to their business.

Make sure you spend some time conducting preliminary research into these issues, and prepare a few ideas that you think could work for your client. Here are a few ways to approach this:

  • Investigate what topics are trending on social media
  • See what journalists are writing about
  • Consider ideas that would lend themselves easily to repurposable, evergreen content
  • Think of new innovative approaches to tried-and-tested ideas
  • Check what content has already been getting backlinks and/or engagement
  • Consult an awareness days calendar and see if anything is relevant to your client’s business

Tools to help you prepare for an ideation session

  • BuzzSumo – A tool that shows what content works by looking at what is being shared the most.
  • AnswerThePublic – A tool that aggregates autocomplete data from search engines, allowing you to discover useful long tail keyphrases and which questions people are actually asking related to your keyword.
  • Majestic and Ahrefs – Software tools that specialise in link analysis. You can use these tools to analyse competitor content or blog posts and see how many backlinks they received and who is linking to their campaigns.
  • Google Trends – A free tool that can help discover the seasonality of your chosen topic and give insight into consumer behaviour. You can customise search data by region, time period and category.

Think Outside the Box When Brainstorming

Spend the first 30-45 minutes of the brainstorming session generating as many ideas as possible. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box and be bold, and remember – focus on quality over quantity. Once the team runs out of ideas, take a moment to think about what the strongest concepts are. I recommend selecting between three and five ideas you could explore further.

Expand on the Concept

Assign your team to do in-depth research on how the ideas they have chosen can be brought to life. Try to think about the following:

  • The methodology
  • Where you will get data from
  • What will be the visualisation
  • How you can make your content newsworthy

Think how you can build your digital PR activity around these ideas and present your findings in a structured way that outlines your idea, with hooks that will draw journalists in, and attractive visuals to entice readers and encourage organic shares. By ticking all of these boxes, your team should be able to unlock their creative potential and come up with PR campaigns that will make a splash.

Want to know more about how Passion Digital could help your brand and improve your digital PR strategy? Get in touch with our team of experts today!