As an Account Manager, I am the main point of contact between the client and the agency. My main focus is to ensure that client requirements are fulfilled, and production timings are met. I work closely with all departments of the agency, but especially our creative team, briefing and working with them on new and exciting projects.
You will often find me at my desk, with my head down typing away writing briefs. Whether it be for a new project, a current on-going project or a potential pitch. But why is a brief so important and why is it so important to get it right?
A brief is the point at which a new group of people will become involved in a project, to take it to the next stage – from a set of objectives to a strategic idea, or from a strategic idea to an executional plan.
A brief is the point at which all the critical information driving a project needs to be collected in a clear, transportable summary. If it goes wrong it can, and often does, make the difference between a successful solution and an unsuccessful one.
When beginning a new project, think of the brief as the first chapter of a story – a story that begins with ambition and a challenge, and ends with a great idea and successful results. A good tip is to keep in mind the 6 key components of a great brief:
1) Vision – this should explain the context of your brief and how the specific objectives tie into the brand’s broader ambition or vision.
2) Objectives – your objectives should always be SMART – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timely.
3) Proposition – what is the core proposition, brand or product message you are trying to communicate?
4) Audience – who is the most valuable target audience for this project?
5) Challenge – what challenges will the client face to make it hard for them to achieve their goal?
6) Logistics – what are the clients timing, budget and are there legal aspects to consider?
Another tip is to always remember the 3 key principles when writing a good brief:
1) The brief should tell a story. There should be a narrative that connects all elements and helps people understand not just WHAT needs to be delivered, but WHY it is important.
2) Keep it brief! A brief should be just that! Although it may be informed by a depth of information, much of which may come along with the brief, the brief itself should be simple, clear and to the point. Remember – less is more.
3) It should be developed through conversation. It is information that all key stakeholders in a brief have equal input into its content. This is to ensure that everyone has the same understanding of what is expected, that all the important information is present, and that all parties share a sense of ‘ownership’ of the brief.