The PRSSA and FINN Partners Program Experience: Brainstorming Session

In March, PRSSA and FINN Partners hosted “Partners for Diversity: A PR & Marketing Career Preview.” Around 60 PRSSA members from all over the globe were a part of the program. 

Participating in “Partners for Diversity” was a fantastic experience. I was able to learn more about the inner workings of a global communications agency, connect with peers and professionals, hone my writing skills, and attend multiple panels that focused on the importance of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. Additionally, each participant was paired up with a mentor, who guided us through the program’s planned activities, provided us with different opportunities, answered any questions we had, and advised us.

One of my favorite sessions was the brainstorming session, which took place on the second day of the Program. Five wonderful FINN employees led the session:

  • Alex Laurelli: senior partner, Consumer, Technology and Public Affairs
  • Angelina Castillo: senior account executive, Consumer and Technology
  • Cullen Burnell: vice president & chief of staff, Health and Purpose
  • Justin Buchbinder: global head of social media
  • Megan Hollett: vice president, Consumer Lifestyle

During the first half of the session, we talked about the meaning of “new business” and the new business process. We focused on the fourth, fifth, and sixth steps of the process: “create the brief,” “find the white space,” and “bring it to life.” 

Brainstorm is defined as “a group discussion to produce ideas and ways of solving problems.” After creating a brief, it is essential to have these group discussions to come up with creative ideas to help the company achieve its goals.

Then, during the second half of the session, we did a brainstorming practice. Attendees were divided into two groups to create a campaign for the mattress company, Sealy. They showed us their brief and we had 30 minutes to brainstorm ideas to help the company achieve its goal of reaching the younger consumer audience.

The Brief

BackgroundContextSealy has been helping American families sleep better by designing high-quality, trusted mattresses for more than 140 years. Sealy’s new Posturepedic mattress features special body-conforming foams for exceptional support, and advanced gel foams and cool-to-the-touch cover technologies “… to help you sleep cooler, fresher, and more comfortably.”
ChallengeRoadblockThe average age of Sealy’s current customer is 57. 
Desired outcomeThe goalSealy wants to build market share by expanding their relevance and appeal to younger consumers — Millennial and Gen Z audiences — and encourage them to consider their new Posturepedic Plus mattresses. 
DeliverableHowEither by implementing an awareness-building campaign for Sealy’s new Posturepedic Plus mattresses, providing media targets and a creative pitch, and/or using social activation to hit the younger consumer audience.
TimingWhenSummer 2023–May 31, 2024.

Each team assigned a notetaker and a presenter. The notetakers had to write everything down to ensure ideas didn’t get lost. The presenters, on the other hand, were in charge of presenting their team’s ideas in the main session after the 30-minute brainstorm.

Brainstorming with my peers and listening to the other team’s idea was a truly enriching experience. My team decided to partner with Selena Gomez and focused on mental health and the importance of getting a good night’s sleep. I loved the other team’s idea as well; they portrayed Sealy’s new Posturepedic mattress as a mattress recent graduates can buy for their new home after graduating and moving out of their college dorm.

Our team was very diverse; we had people from various ages, life experiences, universities, and even countries. In only 30 minutes, we were able to come up with unique and innovative ideas. 

Participating in this brainstorming session was a wonderful experience and it reinforced my belief that working in diverse teams leads to better solutions, more creativity, and better decision making.

Milagros Orcoyen, 2022–2023 vice president of events and fundraising, is a junior at Universidad Argentina de la Empresa (UADE) in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She is studying public relations and communication science. In addition to PRSSA, Milagros volunteers as a member of the communications department at GEO — a sustainable development center at Universidad de Buenos Aires (UBA) — and holds the position of writer at The Jane Goodall Institute Argentina. Milagros is also the executive social media director and videocast host at The Business Takeaway, a student-led company based in Lincoln, Nebraska that provides different tools and information for early career professionals. You can connect with Milagros on LinkedIn.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *