How to Write an Agency Brief

Agency PR and marketing brief

Writing an agency brief for a PR or marketing campaign can be a difficult task. It can be hard to find the right words to communicate what you’re looking for. However, taking the time to write a proper brief will help you avoid headaches and ensure both you and your agency find the winning idea faster.

But first, what is a brief?

Very simply, an agency brief is a document that summarises what you want your agency to do. Its aim is to confirm an understanding between a client and an agency on the objectives of a campaign, the audience and, ultimately, what success looks like.

Why do you need a brief?

You wouldn’t try to bake a cake without a recipe, right? The same thing can be said for an agency brief. If you haven’t thought about what it is you actually want, be prepared to go around in circles (and have a dish disaster that ends up in the bin). It can be both frustrating and time-consuming working without  a brief. A brief acts as a set of instructions for your agency. And if it’s clear, you’ll be able to align on a campaign idea much quicker and easier.

What should you include in the brief?

Just answer a simple series of questions, as best as you can. Some may require some thought and consideration, but the time you invest in writing a good agency brief will pay dividends in the future.

  • What is your purpose? This is the perfect place to start. What problem are you trying to solve? What goal are you trying to accomplish? In short, why do you need a marketing or PR campaign?
  • Who is your audience? This is important. If your audience is everyone, it’s no one. Be as specific as you can.
  • What do you want your customers to do? What is the call to action? Do you want them to click on a website? Buy stuff? Do something? Sign up somewhere? Think about this carefully because this will inform your campaign style. For example, if the goal is website clicks, a digital campaign could be better suited than a live event.
  • What does success look like? Imagine the campaign is complete. What sort of metrics would you brag about to your colleagues? What are you going to measure?
  • What are the project must-haves? Provide a list of things that are non-negotiable. For example, a launch date or a campaign deliverable like a video.
  • Are there any considerations? There might not be, but think about if there is any background detail that your agency would benefit knowing? For example, have you tried something similar before and it failed? Why? Does the campaign need to align with other company initiatives?
  • What is the budget? Finally, be clear about how much you can spend on a campaign. There is no point in your agency giving you million-pound ideas, if you only have £5,000.

Put your answers to these questions in a simple word document and take your agency through it over the phone or in a meeting. Allow them to ask questions.

Finally, give your agency a decent amount of time to come up with ideas. Giving unreasonable turnaround times will mean that the project won’t get the thought and consideration it deserves, so be mindful that this process can take time. Also, don’t be discouraged or angry if the initial ideas aren’t quite right. Provide feedback and be patient. A good agency will work collaboratively with you, going back and forth until the final plan perfectly aligns with your objectives.

Do you need help with a PR or Marketing campaign idea? Send us a brief! We’d love to come up with some ideas for you.

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