What did your mother always tell you? To wear clean underwear in case you have an accident and end up in hospital? She had a point. She was just being prepared. And to quote another cliche, ‘proper planning prevents p*ss poor performance’, which your mother may or may not have told you. But if you want a good job doing (and don’t we all), be prepared, start at the beginning and create a comprehensive marketing brief. Don't leave your contractors and agencies to guesswork, second guessing is unlikely to work for either party and it will almost never be what you were thinking. So to remove all doubt, bear these points in mind:
- DO start with a draft of what it is you are trying to achieve. It's a starting point, which will get the project off the ground;
- DON’T keep that draft in you head, a written brief can be followed, your brain waves can’t be;
- DO involve all relevant departments from the start. Find out what they want and need and how this project will affect them;
- DON’T bring them in at the end where they may just change everything that has been decided;
- DO set out important things like deliverables, performance indicators (how you will know the objectives are being met), deadlines, budget and points of contact;
- DON’T wing it! If you don’t know what the end goal is, how can they;
- DO stick to the brief once agreed, or, if circumstances change, allow for renegotiation;
- DON'T play it by ear or tell your contractors it's not set in stone, there is a big difference between an evolving creative project and constantly moving goalposts;
- DO prepare or finish all work you need to do on the project before your contractor starts their part of the job. Make sure your ducks are lined up so they're able to get on and achieve their deadlines;
- DON’T start the project until said ducks are in said line;
- DO make the brief interesting. Make it pleasurable reading, and a ‘must have’ job. Remove jargon and make the text large and spaced out. Spark the interest of agencies, that way, you get the best ideas coming back to you.
Clean pants, good manners and a good brief, you know your mum would approve.