$1 penalties prompt ideas that help public TV double budget

No-criticism-allowed brainstorming sessions at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting result in remarkable 20th anniversary campaign

Ever since her fourth-grade teacher taught the class the word brainstorming—“which,” she says, “I immediately loved”—RozanneWeissman has been using the technique as part of both internal and external communications programs for various employers and clients.

Now director of communications and marketing at the Alliance to Save Energy in Washington, D.C., Weissman oversaw her most successful (and educational) internal communication “think tank” shortly after she was named vice president of corporate communications at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

“I realized that the organization had a tremendous opportunity with its upcoming 20th anniversary to better tell its story and make the case for the value of public broadcasting,” she says.

Unfamiliar with the culture at the organization, Weissman first called for a meeting with all managers, about 10 of them, to come up with creative ideas for celebrating the anniversary that would make the case for public broadcasting. However, she “made a huge mistake by not sending out advance brainstorming guidelines,” she says.

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