Five reasons you should become a brief-writing ninja

The high-quality brief is one of the hallmarks of a great creative ad agency. Writing one is no run-of-the-mill task and shouldn’t be underestimated. If you’re an account person or an up-and-coming strategist who wants to advance in the industry, it’s vital that you become good at it. Here’s why.

1. Great strategy is one of the things that clients value most in ad agencies. (The other two are great creativity and great relationships). Writing a brief is a high-value strategic task. It’s a way for agency person to present themselves to a client as a valuable partner. Clients are willing to pay more for strategy than account management. So demonstrate your ability by turning their flabby eight-page brief into a tight, vigorous two-page strategic springboard.

2. Writing clarifies thinking. In the process of writing it, you’ll improve your own understanding of the client’s challenge and be a better prepared, more respected advisor. You might even suggest that their challenge isn’t what they thought it was.

3. You may discover you enjoy strategy and that you’re good at it. Great. You have a satisfying and lucrative future ahead as a strategic planner.

4. The brief is a way you can make a big contribution to a brilliant creative campaign. You’ll feel more ownership over the final outcome and you’ll build your folio. (Yes, account management people should have folios/reels to sell themselves just like creatives do.)
5. You’ll gain more respect within your agency, particularly within the creative department. Creatives love account people who write great briefs, are passionate about great work and help make it happen.


Finally, how do you do it?

Distil. Filter. Include only the essential information. Create a hierarchy. Be precise and concise. Lose the background information (it can go in an appendix). Make sure your proposition is short and single-minded. Consider the tone of voice carefully. Run it by your CD or strategy lead before the briefing. And when you run the briefing, remember, we’re in the business of selling. Sell your brief. Get the creatives excited about it. Agencies thrive on positive energy.

Finally. If you’re good at the above, or if you’re a creative person that likes seeing the above, get in touch.

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