There are no bad ideas in brainstorming.

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That’s a favorite phrase here at EZG, championed with pride and enthusiasm on a near daily basis by the many creative voices we have in the office. Thinking out of the box, providing a new perspective and coloring outside of the lines are elements of the public relations field that are inherent, highly valued pieces of the puzzle. Still, I’m in awe that even as PR professionals quite accustomed to throwing around new ideas, each one of us can be subject to our own hesitation, if only for a moment, before voicing our ideas and innovations out loud.

A few years ago, my friends and I had a really impressive idea for a website. A website that could connect college students with each other, help them socially network – a website that could change the world. We called it…Facebook.

Okay, not really. But we did have an idea for a website, and we thought it was a cool concept. We needed to know what bars to go to on a Friday or Saturday night, depending on our given mood at the time – and we needed to know now.

Most Bostonians can relate. We had a limited and highly valuable block of time to work with – no one went to bars until 11 PM, even though they close at 2AM – making our decision an all-important one without room for error. Pick the wrong bar and end up in a long line? Fail. Pick the wrong bar and end up paying a cover to get into an empty space? Fail. Shell out your last $15 on a cab ride to the wrong end of town? Fail!

Our solution was a website you could log onto for your friendly nightlife forecast, equipped with Doppler-like readings to ascertain crowd/precipitation levels, as well as up-to-the-minute foot traffic updates. After several round-table conversations fueled by raw energy and optimistic ideals, we had mapped out a street team concept to staff the program, we had lined up possible sponsors (hello liquor $!) and we had decided to hire a techie-guy-geeknius to get the web aspect up and running. Sounds like a gold mine, right?

In reality, the conversation never left my kitchen, the genius idea never came to fruition and I am still not driving around in a stretch-Escalade. Because we never really gave that idea a chance.

Our generation comes from the same stock as the likes of Mark Zuckerberg, Sean Parker and Andrew Mason – guys who had ideas, and were crazy enough to see them through – and yet even on the smallest scale, like in a conference room meeting, we may feel self-conscious about throwing our own harebrained ideas into the creative mix. And at what cost – to ourselves and to clients?

So I say, give voice to your ideas – however creative, however crazy – or risk silencing that genius forever. Because it’s not going to get any easier the longer you wait to pipe up. And I think you’ll likely find that once you get those creative juices flowing, not only are they invaluable, they’re pretty much unstoppable.

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