How to write the perfect brief
It’s ironic that communications brief are often the opposite of brief! Similarly, it’s ironic that what is arguably the most important starting point of any campaign is often rushed or treated just as a formality. There’s a common saying associated with writing briefs and that’s “what you put in is what you get out”. Basically, a vague or rushed brief will result in a vague (and therefore ineffective) outcome. So let’s look at the purpose of a brief, what it should contain and what to expect as it evolves.
Right a purposeful brief, with a clear outcome in mind
A brief is designed to be a document that holds all the relevant information required to build a project or campaign. It’s a document that unites your unique insights, challenges and effectively translates into a to-do list for your collaborators. With clear, concise direction, the project outcome is a clear destination.
Keep it brief
In the spirit of keeping it brief it’s also vital you stay single-minded. An overload of information and / or objectives will dilute the message. The essential questions that need to be answered include (in no particular order):
- Details of the specific product or service you’re focusing on
- Insights into your audience and their behaviour
- Your intended message/s and supporting information that could be helpful
- Your brand style guide so your material will stay on-brand
Evolution is natural – Don’t be afraid to adapt your plan
Briefs are designed to be a starting point and what follows is usually robust, transitional and crucial conversations. More questions than answers often arise from a brief and this allows us to get to the real crux of the campaign and to understand the core proposition of your business. This is when we truly find the gem of information required to develop a fabulous campaign. The end result can sometimes look like a very different answer than you might have expect, but more often than not it’s a much more in-depth and detailed answer that will make for better results in your pending campaign.