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Crafting a brief document is an art

September 16, 2011

A good brief document is pretty mucha as a good compass: it sets the direction to follow.
A good briefing is the first step to success and this is true either if you are buying a creative project or you are about to design it.
I know three types of brief documents: the good ones, the bad ones  and… the very bad ones

The very bad briefings make a great root to failure. 

How to  avoid writing a very bad brief document? 

Dear designers :

  • avoid asking questions whose answers cannot put in a single phrase
  • avoid hiding behind silly technical jargons
  • place clear questions and insist to obtain clear answers
  • don’t feel like you have to know everything, your ignorance could be the primer of your creativity
  • don’t forget that clients almost always have a very personal point of view – they are blatantly in love with their companies and products – be critic!
  • briefings are not black magic! help you to focus your creativity and can help you to be less obvious – but they are not voodoo.
  • do not turn briefings into never ending meetings, time is money.
  • do not give anything for granted
Dear clients:
  • give short and precise answers and if you don’t know them, take your time to gather information or just say “I don’t know”.
  • set your attainable communication goals – “I want to sell more”, is not a wise goal to set during a communication briefing for the creative staff, while “be more appealing to the segment represented by women in their late 40s” is very very sensible and can be an extraordinary trigger.
  • be patient, even when the questions may sound trivial or silly, remember that even communication firms with a great experience don’t know everything of your market or company
  • share, share share!
  • involve anyone you think might be helpful, with no restriction to their level or occupation, but no one too many – if you think the financial director might not be helpful, do not hesitate to leave him or her out of the briefing sessions
  • be open, available and willing to help
  • do not give anything for granted
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