Content MarketingHow-Tos

How to write a creative brief for your agency

By February 21, 2018 No Comments

Whipping up a creative brief before you partner with an agency is a no-brainer. You’ve got an idea? You write a brief. Simple. But unless you get a personal kick out of drafting strategy documents, the odds are, you probably don’t enjoy writing them. Because of that, fantastic briefs are pretty rare to come by. Just ask our CEO Shelley, who had a few honest words to say about this some years back. Believe me, she knows a dodgy brief when she sees one.

That said, I’m part of an agency that is fully aware of the reasons why a brief can be bit ‘meh’. If it’s not done well, it might be because the briefer in question is unprepared, can’t be bothered, or quite frankly, doesn’t know how to write one. Still, a project or a campaign doesn’t have a fighting chance without a clear, well-written brief to steer it along the way. But where to begin?  And what should you avoid when you’re preparing it?

 What to do:

Know what you want ­

You’re the expert on your business. That’s right. You. An agency can only do so much with the information you provide. Vague, half-baked ideas won’t suddenly morph into a stroke of brilliance because you’ve approached an agency in the hopes they can fill in the blanks. Of course, our creativity knows no bounds (if we say so ourselves). But the objective you want to meet begins with you.

However, it you’re not running the show and you’re responsible for delivering a project for someone else, you should interrogate them for ever last shred of information they can muster. It’ll make a big difference.

Give yourself some time

Briefing isn’t easy, so it should never be a rush job. It needs research to 1) help you clarify those objectives I mentioned earlier, and 2) collate supporting information you can provide with your brief. As Shelley mentioned in her blog post, if you’ve seen something that inspires your ideas, you can provide jpegs, links or attachments as an appendix to your brief.

Time will also give you the chance to run the idea past the necessary stakeholders for that all-important buy-in, or so you can make any tweaks to the final idea.

What not to do:

Don’t waffle

It’s not called a brief for nothing. As one of our former account managers pointed out, there’s no need for fluff or fuss when it comes to writing it. Yes, it should be informative, but at the very least it should cover:

  • The current position of the brand or business: where are you now?
  • Your SMART goals / objectives: where do you want to go?
  • Your strategy: how do you want to get there?
  • Your audience: who are you targeting?
  • An outline of success: what does this look like?
  • A deadline: when does this need to be done by?

Don’t forget the budget

A good agency can come up with a creative concept for your goal, no matter the size of your budget. So, don’t feel afraid to share it.  A range or ballpark figure will help us know how far we can go. It’ll also prevent us coming up with something that cost three times more than you had in mind. Help us help you ­– and everybody wins.

For more tips on briefing, check out, the lost art of writing a creative brief

Or drop us a line and we’ll help you with your next project.

About Southerly

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