Once a marketing plan has been written and an advertising agency (and/or other specialist agency) appointed there will soon come a time when the agency needs to be briefed on a specific project.
When briefing specialist marketing agencies, it is both unacceptable and unprofessional to rely solely on a verbal exchange of information. It is essential that the client’s needs are clearly communicated and retained by the agency as a matter of record. It is equally important that the client and the agency have a clear and common understanding of what is being briefed and the nature of the response required.
Here is a template for writing a communications brief that is borne out of many years of experience of imparting and receiving communications briefs:
Communications Brief Template
A brief introduction to what the brief contains and the nature of the project. Also an expectation of what the client expects the agency to deliver as a result of the brief and when it is expected to be delivered.
Nature of Product or Service
A brief description of the product or service.
Role of Product or Service
What the product or service does or delivers for the end user.
Marketing/ Promotional History and Results
A digest of recent market and marketing data with more detail, in the form of research reports, appended if possible
A table showing the main competitors and the product or service that they each deliver and its relative performance ranking in the marketplace.
Nature and Role of the Communications Task
The type of communication (advertising, direct marketing etc.) that is envisaged and the role that it is expected to perform.
Prime Communication Statement
What is the single, most important fact that it is desirable for the target audiences to recall having been exposed to the communication?
Secondary Communication Statements
What are the statements that support the prime communication statement – no more that five or six.
A statement about how the business wants to be perceived by its various target audiences. This is a desire on the part of the business and is not controllable.
Not to be confused with corporate image. Corporate Identity is the visual identity of the business. It is controllable by the business (unlike the image). Sometimes simply referred to as the logo.
To include both the creation and execution of the communications activity.
When the activity is expected to begin and to end.
Requirements and Policy Limitations
In what media the campaign will be run. Will there be a carry-over of a slogan or slogo?
A communications brief is an essential document in managing the process of the effective and efficient delivery of advertising, direct marketing, and all other forms of external and internal communications activity. This template described will provide a solid foundation for this process.