A creative brief is a quick worksheet that you fill out before you get started on any significant piece of communications work. You can also use a creative brief as a mini-strategy for how you’ll use a particular social media channel (e.g. how is what we do on Facebook different from Twitter?).
Using a creative brief forces you to consider important questions before you get started. It’s also a wonderful collaboration tool that helps your team work out potential conflicts before you spend a lot of time on the project. It’s also a nice touchstone that you can return to if you feel like a project is going astray at any point.
I’ve seen many different versions, but here are the questions you’ll usually want to include in one way or another. Feel free to copy and paste these into whatever format you prefer.
- What is it? What is the deliverable?
- What is the goal or purpose of the communications piece?
- What is the single most important thing it should communicate?
- Who is the communications piece for (specific participant or supporter groups, for example)?
- What is the specific call to action?
- Is there a specific voice, tone, or style for this piece that should be reflected in copy or design?
- What gap is this piece filling in our existing communications line-up?
- How will success of the piece be measured?
- Who is the primary decision maker on this piece? Who else is working on it?
- What budget and additional resources will be made available?
- What are the deadlines for the first, intermediate, and final drafts?