Content creation has evolved into a team-based endeavor. Just this morning a content creation meeting included a program manager, science director, account director, statistician, and graphic designer. It would be a huge mistake to assume that we all have the same optics or vision for the project. Much like the elephant being examined by blind-folded individuals, nothing influences your outlook more than what is close, personal, and at hand.
When you are able to work as an independent consultant there are many professional perks. The blurring of lines across industries reveals best practices just waiting to be applied to current projects. If you have experience in ad agencies you know the importance of the creative brief. What surprises me is that the practice remains fire-walled within the agency environment instead of broad application to all vendor or consultancy relationships.
Lets dig a little deeper and see how this might work for you either on the client side or the creative side. I have been using creative briefs for some time now and they are so useful that they are often shared across teams. Wouldn't you like to be contacted by a client that found your brief in a boardroom and wants to discuss a new project? Or if you are the hiring client, wouldn't this document ease the transition and execution of future projects?
1. The What--What is being created? This could be a need assessment, industry report, slide deck, anything that requires focus and attention. Just write one sentence. You don't need to include background information or unnecessary detail.
2. The Who--Define your target audience. Are the end-users primary care providers, specialists, or patient populations? This one is tricky. You need granularity beyond simple demographics. Rheumatologists in practice for 5 to 20 years prescribing drug x instead of guideline recommended drug y.
3. The Why--Write clear, actionable, and measurable objectives. Are you trying to change a behavior? Increase awareness? Stop a behavior? Clarify a business need?
4. Single minded propostions--What is the single most motivating and differentiating thing about the brand or product to communicate? - ONE compelling reason. Here is where you consider disadvantages of not prescribing, pricing characteristics, surprising or unusual attributes, downstream impact, etc...
5. Substantiate--Why should I believe you? Is there data to support your proposition? You need to establish credibility.
6. Intention--This should be a first person response. What beliefs, attitudes, opinions, behaviour do we want to change? How do we want people to think and feel about a brand?
7. Desired characteristic--Is the brand safer? More efficacious? Better targeted to a specific population? High-value?
8. Must haves--Know the disease state, business need, health policy implication, cost-effectiveness, and economics of your project. Keep it lean and to the point. If it’s not relevant to the patient/consumer--it's not relevant to the brief. Don’t just accept what your client tells you. Your value is thinking further than they have. Remember your job is to inspire great creative. You are PART OF the creative process
Here is my wee little book. It started off much larger but when tasked with editing out prose and platitudes I was left with a concise and to the point final product. It is available on kindle as e-book and print today and will roll out iOS, B&N, and other devices later this week.
If you order during the pre-release, and email confirmation to firstname.lastname@example.org, you will be sent a password for access to free tools and resources not available to general readership. For example, if you want access to the actual creative brief that I use with clients, sample grant language or proposal templates, e-book templates, checklists, specific step-by-step guidance, and other developing assets, head over to the Amazon link or Smashwords link and pre-order before the full-release on July 3rd.