Yes you’ve guessed it, I am back with this week’s topic and not forgetting the promise I made to you last week, it is somewhat light hearted compared to the whole load of ‘do nots’ thrust upon you last week. How many of you felt like an adolescent in a Social Development class after reading it? Sorry, playing bad cop was never my strong point, I’m definitely one of the good guys. Anyway, without further ado, let’s get cracking with part one of this week’s headline question…What’s in a brief?

Before I can answer this I need to be sure that we are all on the same page when it comes to the meaning of the word ‘brief’ in this context.

I do not mean that this blog will be written in a manner implying I am exasperated, and I am not talking about one half of a man’s hold all, nor am I specifically referring to duration and I am most definitely not describing a popular yet albeit unattractive form of underwear.

In this instance, a brief is a sort of checklist encapsulating the tone, message, style, objective and theme of a specific piece of work. So what do I mean by:


Well, do you want to appear friendly, professional, upset, amusing, informative, sympathetic…I could go on but I think you’ve caught the drift?


What do you want to say? What is the most important piece of information you want to convey? Imagine you are writing a post card (of course you would have to have been on holiday to do this!!!) think of what you would tell the recipient…these are all messages.


Sometimes you may be asked to follow a house style or you may have to adapt the style to the audience. There is no use putting in lots of colloquial lingo if your readers are ‘not from round these parts’.


What do you want the outcome to be? Do you want the reader to buy something, get in touch, act in some way or give you information? Think of it as your goal.


You may have to pick a theme yourself or you may be given one but either way it is to be present throughout the piece of work and should not be deviated from.

So moving swiftly on to part two of the headline question, why is a brief so important?

Much like a strategy, a brief will keep you consistent in what you do and on the right track. It sets you goals and a good brief will be easily achievable. It is well worth setting aside a few minutes before you start working to really brainstorm and come up with a brief. Believe me, it saves time in the long run!

Well, as I draw to a close, it seems only befitting that I should give you a brief for next week…a brief preview of the topic that is – Word of mouth marketing, what the noise is all about.

What’s in a brief, and why are they so important?
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