Brief is a statement of fact aimed at achieving an objective- passing information, either for business purposes (written by an advertiser or sponsor), legal proceeding, a meeting, security purposes, etc. Such information is incontrovertible by anyone who comes across it. Brief’s role is just making available the needed facts and figures and nothing more. And the onus lies on those to whom the brief is written to act, as expected of them.
When writing a brief take note of the following:
- Remember, your goal is to persuade, not to argue:
Briefing does not call for an argument other than an act of TIPS FOR EFFECTIVE BRIEF WRITING
persuasion. And persuasion is enabled by letting the recipient know the usages (in case of products or services), benefits or goals (in taking an action), procedure to follow (in performing a task),strategies, etc,which should be enough to lead the actors through the whole process of execution.
- Know your audience:
This is key in any form of writing and must be the deciding factor at the beginning of the exercise. Writing a brief takes full consideration about how the audience behaves or would act. In case of adverts, the users of products or customers have certain behavioural pattern (taste, reaction to change in prices, demand for close substitutes or complementary goods, etc, which must be understood and provided for in the brief for onward action.
- Knowthe facts.
Of course, if facts are not inclusive then it is mere propaganda. The objectivity of briefs does not give room for sentiments because whatever is provided in the brief are verifiable. It is the fact that sells and nothing more. So, why present what would later be a trash at the end of the day? Helping those working with the brief with facts does not only make them do a good job, it also gives a true representation of its subject and source.
- Brevity is Brief:
There is no need belabouring the contents with much information than is necessary. Same way it is out of place to burden the recipients of one’s brief with verbose document, as this could put them off. Concise but precise data is enough to do the job.
- Quality: Doing a good brief is in the way it is written and presented. Depending on the kind of brief one is writing, it is traditional that the piece be written based on generally acceptable standards as regards the organization and content (which must be accurate, coherent, well expressed etc).
- Stating the objective or goal: Another major factor is objective which is in fact why the brief is documented at the beginning. This gives the direction of course: either to make sales, to persuade, to inform, among other things.
- Don’t cast aspersion: Like it is said, brief is a statement of facts and figures and anything that detracts from such is not a brief. Whether one is referring to a competitor or political opponents, it is unacceptable to smear, attack personality or use other anti-people tendencies to pass one’s information. Caution should be ensured that one is not derailed from the essence of the brief.
- Don’t allow repetition:
Repetition of claims, especially same things for a number of time for an instance, could mean the author of the brief does not have much to say but using the instrument of recall (which is in a way good, but could prove a disadvantage if abused) to buy time and make the brief longer than normal. Whatever need to be said should be done with a sense of exaction or precision.