Step Two: Creativity/Brainstorming
Some documents, such as advertisements, newsletter features and sales letters, call for a high degree of creativity. Other documents, such as news releases and business reports, are more straightforward. When your one, key strategic message requires creativity, consider using a basic five-step approach to developing ideas. Advertising expert James Webb Young has written that the creative process consists of these steps:
- Gathering research
- Thinking about your research
- Concentrating on other matters and letting your subconscious mix your research with other things you know (history, music, literature, movies and so on). Young believed that a new idea was really a combination of two other ideas, facts or themes.
- Recognizing when your subconscious reports back a great idea
- Refining the great idea
A process known as brainstorming can assist the creative process. Brainstorming usually is a group activity in a comfortable setting. Group members toss ideas back and forth, building on one another’s ideas, reviewing key research findings and encouraging everyone to be innovative. Brainstorming works best when two rules apply: No one’s idea gets ridiculed, and no one worries about who gets the credit.