Just the other day, it was in the papers again, an article in the w&v about “The Seven Deadly Sins of Briefing”. Don’t worry, I won’t delve into them at length – they were unclear responsibilities, briefings in passing, excessive expectations, poor communication style, unclear goals, ignorance of the work steps, blown out buffer times, and a lack of budget. In fact, the article was quite enlightening, the more so because it was a book review for Ute Flockenhaus’ “Good Briefings”. In brief: A typical guidebook. All about good briefings in just 30 minutes (the timing might be a bit tight, but it reads quite swiftly). Now, guidebooks are always a bit tricky. Usually, firstly, they tell you what you already know, and secondly, they distinguish themselves by the fact that their effect fizzles out soon. The first also applies in this case. To prevent the latter, this article was created.
Ad 1: Even this guidebook doesn’t tell you anything you don’t already know. It’s still worth reading, as it presents the subject as a well-structured, comprehensible thought process with many key phrases and checklists, and with numerous examples that break down what happens when you do not create or receive good briefings. But above all, it reminds the readers of the things they know, but do not constantly, or never, update. Because it often slips through the cracks in everyday life. One of these crucial reminders in this book is the definition of the word briefing by returning to its level of meaning and looking at its parts brevity and writing. A briefing should be as short and concise as possible and only as complex as necessary. In addition, there should be a written record that all parties can refer to at any time. Even if, and especially if there are changes to be expected coming from the company/customer, or if there are changes anticipated within the team at the agency. As a reader, one nods in agreement with these and all other paragraphs and simultaneously wishes that reality were a little closer to the ideal. Which brings us to…
Ad 2: The effect of good briefing advice and how to prevent it from just fizzling out. This is only possible if you “live by it”. “To live by something” is yet another advertising vocabulary people are tired of hearing or reading. It may gladly be replaced by “apply regularly” or better yet “always practise”. But that just sounds like you have to make an effort. However, this is just like muscle training. The more you practise, the stronger you get and the easier the exercise will be. You can take the metaphor even further: Really good briefings release endorphins and make you feel happy. Simply because good briefings lead to good results in brand communication. They trigger creativity.
How? You will find out in our article. There you can also find a template, that contains an example of a good briefing.
More information is available from:
Creative consulting/Group leader text
christoph.siwek (at) schindlerparent.de