31 May The Supreme Importance Of Crystal Clear Communication
Today – although not strictly editing or writing related – I want to talk about the absolute necessity of crystal, ambiguously, clear (yes, I’m using many adjectives here to get my point across!) communication with your freelance creative professional. This is especially if you have been working with your freelancer for a while and you may forget that they are, in fact, an external party and are not privy to the internal office talks which may happen spontaneously over a cup of coffee or in a WhatsApp chat.
Say, for example, the CEO has a brilliant new idea that she has formed based on something that she read or a person who she happened to meet at a dinner party. She discusses this idea with her 2IC, who also thinks that it’s great, and the second in command is then told to implement this throughout the organisation.
The 2IC then briefs in the head of marketing who is told to brief all freelancers affected by this new decision that the CEO has made. The marketing head duly does this via a Teams or Zoom meeting – with each individual freelancer. However, one freelancer then communicates with another one about the deliverables but the message that freelancer no. 1 has received is as far removed from the original CEO’s idea as Johannesburg is from Cape Town.
This causes a mountain load of confusion, mixed feelings as some people may think that they’re not doing their jobs properly as their current work (which they enjoy) is being taken away from them and, while all of this is going on, there’s a lot of time and brain power being wasted trying to sort the whole thing out!
Phew… That was a mouthful…
So, to maximise the ROI that you get out of every single interaction, and make sure that your employees and freelancers remain engaged with your company and carry on performing to the best of their ability, before the great idea is disseminated throughout the company stakeholders remember to distil this into a great brief.
This will make sure that everyone is on the same page and what needs to be done is accomplished in the least amount of time.
How To Write A Great Creative Brief
Decide On A Name For The Project
The first step in designing a creative brief is choosing a project name. This may sound simple, however it’s one of the most important components of a creative brief. If you’re developing a campaign around a new product or service, the campaign name will be the first time a lot of members of your team will be presented with it.
Referring to the campaign (and thus product or service) by the right name prevents the game of broken telephone from taking place. Without a specific and clear campaign name, team members will make up their own terminology which can change the intent of the campaign.
Write About The Brand And Summarise The Project’s Background
Another simple, however essential part is the company background. If you work in an agency environment, this is non-negotiable as your team will probably be handling several client campaigns at once. But, if you’re developing a creative brief for an in-house project, you’ll still want to include this part. New hires on your team, freelancers, and vendors will appreciate the background that your internal team is already privy to.
Tailor the company background to the project at hand. Set up the scene with one or two sentences which sum up the brand’s mission. Follow this up with a few sentences which give background on the brand and what led to the progress of the project.
Highlight The Project Objective
Here is where the creative brief becomes more specific. The project objective should quickly explain the aim of the project, the timeline, and the audience it’ll focus on. This can be completed in a sentence or two, however you can get creative and stylise it in sections.
This section of the creative brief will be useful in emphasising why the project needs to happen. The goal aspects will assist you and your team come together on the project’s expectations. If the company or client hasn’t pinpointed any major challenges, you can concentrate this section on goals and objectives. Explain what a successful project looks like as well as how it will benefit the company.
Describe The Target Audience
Next, it’s time to identify the target audience for the project. This is the portion of your market that will benefit directly from the product or service being launched. You will be able to take audience segmentation a step further through identifying a primary and secondary audience. Doing so will give your team far more freedom to explore creative ideas which might reverberate with one group more than the other.
Interpret The Competitive Landscape
Knowing what your competitors are doing is beneficial for the entire team. You can utilise competitive data to develop ideas that haven’t been tried yet, learn from their projects which weren’t successful, or build a project that improves on a strategy they’ve utilised in the past.
Incorporate a quick list of competitors with comparable product or service offerings. Quickly list a few things that your company has in common with them, how your brand has distinguished itself already, and a couple of areas where this project can help you get ahead.
Prepare The Key Message
The key message may be the most difficult part of the creative brief to develop as just about each and every stakeholder will have a different opinion of what it should be.
The key message includes the following:
- The pain point,
- What the audience’s experience may be like without the pain point, as well as
- The benefit which they’ll receive as a result of your company’s solution.
This framework puts the customer into the spotlight of the campaign. Rather than telling them what this product or service could do for them, it places them as the central character in the journey from problem to solution.
Choose The Key Consumer Benefit
If you’re presenting a new product, there are probably quite a number of features and benefits that the target audience will encounter when they decide to buy it.
However, it’s quite difficult to structure a campaign around a number of different features. That’s why marketers and creative editors and writers use something called a key consumer benefit (KCB) in the creative brief in order to keep everyone aligned to primary benefit being communicated. To right the right KCB, you’ll want to get input from the project stakeholders and depend on consumer data to guide the decision.
Choose An Attitude
The tone and voice of your campaign establish the global attitude and that should be constant throughout every creative element which is being developed.
Pinpointing a few adjectives that illustrate the attitude of the campaign can assist copywriters with drafting copy which sends the correct message within the right context. Graphic designers can use colours and techniques in order to portray the tone and voice as well.
Determine The Best Call To Action
Your audience needs something to do when they see your campaign. The great thing about CTAs is that they don’t have to be physical actions. A CTA may have a goal to alter thoughts and perceptions about your brand which doesn’t need the audience to do anything at all.
Your creative brief may include several different CTAs, particularly if you have a primary and secondary target audience. However it’s a great idea to have one main CTA that drives the project objective.
Draft The Distribution Plan
When the project is finished, you’ll have to make sure that your audience really sees it. Write down a few channels or platforms on which you want to announce the launch in addition to any promotional content you intend to create. When putting this section together, think about your target audience. Don’t waste your time on a promotional strategy which they won’t see.
The next time that you want to save time and just jump into a situation with a creative freelancer without a brief, think again! The time that you spend on putting the brief together will save you hours of frustration and wasted time.