"Big ideas are my passion," says X2PR CEO Beth Balsam, "and I think the most important thing about loving and executing big ideas is to be open as to where they come from. More important than being able to come up with the big idea is being able to recognize it when you hear it."

So what makes an idea big? "I feel like a great big idea has to have tremendous respect for three separate parties or entities. First of all, it has to respect the brand. The second critical group is the consumers. And the third important group for a PR big idea, obviously, is the earned media, the reporters, the producers, the influencers who we're hoping will talk about it."

And while Balsam says that "PR ideas, by their nature, need to have talk value," she also stresses the importance of visual storytelling. And in addidition to the notion that "a picture tells a thousand words," there's another key bonus to featuring strong images. "We know that reporters, editors, producers very often like to cut a brand out of a story, but if the brand is central to the visual, they can't do that, right?"

It's also important, she says, to stay top of on the sudden changes in events that can change your big idea. "There's so much we can't predict. It doesn't hurt in this business to be a little neurotic, right? To think, okay, what could go wrong here? What do I need to guard against? You know, if this happens, how can I maybe course correct?:

Balsam also discusses how the world of remote work has changed the rules for coming up with big ideas. "It's really important to be able to work together and look, Zoom is great and I feel like it's saved us during the pandemic, but I love nothing more than sitting around a table with a group of people and hashing something out."

In addition, "it's very nice to be able to brainstorm ideas with people who you have great relationships with and trust, where it feels like a safe space to throw out ideas that might seem insane because you never know how the next person builds on it."

She also cautions against falling into "formulaic and expected" thinking when working with clients. This is where I think you can get in trouble with clients, quite frankly, when you're not delivering new thinking, or breakthrough thinking, or provide an idea that nobody asked for."

View all of the interviews in the “PR's Top Pros Talk” series. Subscribe to get notified when new episodes are available.

Interested in taking part? Contact Doug Simon at [email protected]

D S Simon Media helps clients get their stories on television through satellite media tours and by producing and distributing content to the media. The company also produces live social media events.