Creative together (remotely): 4 simple techniques for content managers

Avatar photo

Julia Rupanovits-Ortner

Julia Rupanovits-Ortner ist Head of Content Creation. Von informativen Native-Advertising-Inhalten über fesselnde Krimis bis hin zu ausgiebigen Google-Rezensionen begeistern sie Geschichten verschiedenster Art.

Whether you are currently stuck creatively or are looking for a lot of new impulses for a project: Harnessing the creative power of the team has enormous potential!

Of course, in terms of resources and deadlines, joint brainstorming and creative sessions are not possible for every project. But every now and then, content managers should still seek creative exchange.

The best thing is that with the right techniques, it’s not even necessary to be in the office together. In our Creativity Toolkit, which we already mentioned in the article “5 Strategies content managers can use to boost their creativity”, you’ll find 4 creative methods that we can use together and remotely.

1. change of perspective: the headstand method

Do you need a new perspective on things? Then let’s use the headstand method. Remotely, we use a special Creativity Channel in our Slack communication tool.

Here’s how it works: First, the person who starts the joint creative process must formulate the starting point in a question. So, for example, “What do we need to do to attract more visitor:s to region XY?” Using the headstand method, this question is now turned around into the opposite, i.e., “What do we need to do to attract LESS visitor:s to Region XY?” This question is posted (with information about how long the brainstorming may run) in the channel. All answers that follow serve as a basis for approaches that are supposed to solve the original problem. Often it is simply easier for us to find answers to the opposite questions.

2. from car to living room: analogy technique

This method is well suited when it is a matter of reducing mental blocks or finding a solution quickly through a changed context. The great side effect: content managers create a special reading experience for readers through unusual “images” and parallels.

Here’s how it works: A content manager calls up the analogy technique via Slack and names a specific feature of a topic. For example, he or she wants to find a new approach to the topic of space volume for a car campaign and states something like: “A car for a family needs a lot of space and room.” Now it’s up to the other team members to find associations and analogies to this statement. This could be, for example, “A living room for a family also needs a lot of room and space” – and an analogy is created between a car and a living room, supplemented by the feel-good factor of the living room.

The important thing with the analogy technique: Everything is allowed – because what seems completely exaggerated or crazy at first, perhaps even too provocative, could end up being spun into the most exciting new idea.

3. speculations welcome: what-if technique

Time for thought games: With the “what-if” technique, we approach questions in a completely new way. This method is a hot tip when you want to describe a product in a new, fresh way.

Here’s how it works: A new creative session is opened in the Slack channel, this time with a question such as, “What if product XY didn’t exist?” In a time-limited setting, all team members are now invited again to share their thoughts on the question. The collection that results is likely to be a pool of problems that would exist in people’s everyday lives without the product in question. Et voilà, we already have material for new product descriptions.

4. keep ideas flowing: Collective notebook

Generating new ideas and inspiring each other in the process: In a nutshell, this is the principle of the “collective notebook”. Ideally, content managers should have a little more time for this technique so that they can keep contributing to the idea generation process.

Here’s how it works: A document is created via GoogleDocs, on the first page of which a specific problem is outlined. Now we make the team aware (via our Slack channel with reference to the GoogleDoc) that a creative session has been opened. In the next step, each:r, after reading the problem statement, can record spontaneous inspirations at any time – and always be inspired by the previous entry. It is also conceivable that each member is required to add an idea every day.

With a specific communication channel, defined methods and clearly communicated timeframes, it is also possible to be creative together, regardless of whether part of the team works in the office or in the home office. Why not give it a try – in the worst case, a few fresh ideas will come out of it.😉