What is in a Brief?

When an agency is working with a client, or a client is working with an agency developing a brief can often be one of the most important aspects of a job that is overlooked.  Because:

–       it takes too long to put together

–       you could be doing the work rather than talking / writing about doing the work

–       everyone knows what they are supposed to be doing………right?

It is extremely unusual that everyone is on the same page from the very get go, and of course the more people who are involved in a piece of work and the less likely everyone is clear exactly what is wanted and how it will be achieved.  It is even less likely that everyone will be clear what the parameters for change are as the job continues.

It is our view that when you are working with an agency not only should you want a clear brief but you should insist on it.

A good brief, like a project plan, should have a beginning, a middle and an end.  It should state:

–       where are we now (point a)

–       where do we want to be (point b)

–       where do we absolutely not want to be

–       what do we need to do (to get us from point a to point b)

Sitting within this should also be clear descriptors of:

–       who will do what

–       when they will do it by

–       how much it will cost

–       how much is available to spend

–       where there is room for maneuver

–       how many maneuvers are allowed

–       who will have the final say

All seems like common sense?  Someone once said to me “common sense is not all that common”.

Some of the pitfalls of a lack of clarity around a job can be:

–       it costs you, the client, more time and money

–       you don’t get what you want

–       it can negatively impact on your relationship with your agency as they may be unable to deliver in a way that meets your requirements.

So in answer to the question – what is in a brief?  EVERYTHING!

Sam Crosthwaite: Client Services Manager

Creative Brief