Knowledge is power:
Why creative briefs are important
How long is a piece of string? There’s no right answer to that, and the same goes for any creative work.
Unless the creator knows the why, what and who behind a project, they’ll go off and make something completely wrong, which will only be a waste of time, money and effort. Since a good brief benefits both clients and agencies, we thought it would be a good idea to take a closer look at the ins and outs of creative briefs.
What is a creative brief?
Although all agencies and clients will have their own take on a brief, at its very core is a document that has all of the information needed to produce a piece of creative to sell, inform or educate about a product or service.
Whether you’re a freelancer, agency or client, briefs are an essential part of the overall process. Sometimes they might be written by the client or the creative themselves, but in all cases they are supposed to minimise confusion and define all parameters of the project.
A good brief might take weeks to put together, but if it fits onto just one or two pages it’ll be a thing of beauty.
Why they are important?
As well as having everyone on the same page about a project, briefs are useful for both agencies and clients as they can act as an insurance in case things go wrong. For example, a client may change the scope of the project halfway through without informing the agency, or the agency might deliver work that doesn’t fit the needs of the project. By having this one unifying document, both sides can have full visibility on what’s being done, and why.
How to handle a brief
– Keep the information simple and to the point. Details and insight are important, but these could be sent in a supplemental file.
– A good brief has time behind it. If you hastily put one together, you’ll end up missing important details or not explain them properly. Save yourself time and get it right, first-time.
– Don’t be afraid to challenge it or ask questions: If you’re confused about something or have good justification against a certain deadline or element, go ahead and bring it up. Neither side will benefit from a confused or nervous partner.
What the creatives want to see
While the account lead or media manager is more concerned about timelines and the processes behind working, the creatives will have their own priorities in terms of what they want to see. Try to include details such as:
- The communication objectives
- Target audiences
- What the key benefits of promises of the project / product are
- Evidence of these benefits
- Things to avoid
- Things essential to include
- Any references to similar projects that the client likes
An example of a great brief
So the above is what makes a good brief, but what does it actually look like? Stay tuned; we’ll be creating a downloadable briefing document soon.
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