The client brief
“With a quality brief, the results of a public relations campaign will definitely be more significant.”
The client brief is the most important element of information you provide to a public relations firm. The brief is the basic reference that will enable consultants to begin thinking about and proposing strategies. The more relevant information you provide at the outset, the greater the gains in time and ideas throughout the business relationship.
Why it is important for a client to write a good brief
There are three basic reasons for a client to write a brief for each public relations assignment:
- Allows delivery of services to be evaluated more effectively;
- Saves time and money;
- Ensures fair remuneration.
The principles behind a good brief
There is strong consensus among clients and public relations firms on what constitutes a good brief. Here are the three key elements:
- Written brief
The combination of an oral and a written brief is ideal.
When writing a brief, clients focus on what they expect of the project or activity in question, and what role the public relations firm will play.
By discussing a written brief, each party has a possibility of supporting it, asking questions about it and adopting it. The brief adds to clarity and contributes to building an effective business relationship.
- Clear thinking
A good brief is not necessarily long or detailed. It is clear, concise and serves as a useful platform for a strategic approach in the search for effective solutions.
- Clearly defined objectives
Clear objectives are essential to a good brief. They form the basis of any winning strategy and communications plan.
An effective brief should include the following sections:
- Project description
- Current situation
- Expected results
- Efforts and activities to date
- List of key players
- Measurement indicators for evaluating results
- Practical aspects (budget parameters (minimum/maximum), deadlines and other considerations)
- Description of approval process
- Other elements needed to ensure a good understanding of the assignment.