Small Business Marketing by Jillian Shaw Marketing, Advertising & Public Relations for the Small Business

How to Write Your Own Creative Brief

First of all, what is a creative brief?  A creative brief is a short document – preferably a single page – that summarizes the information that needs to be conveyed to the creative team in order to get the strategic message across to the target audience.  In an advertising agency, the account team writes one of these for the creative team.  You have neither an account team or a creative team, so you have to do it yourself.

About the Client.  This is your first section, and since you’re your own client, I suggest copying and pasting your mission statement here and making it a permanent fixture on your Creative Brief template.

About the project.  Briefly describe the event, promotion, or activity you want to write about.

Define the target audience.  This is usually your customers, potential customers, or maybe an internal audience like your vendors or the members of an organization you’re involved with.  Make this part just a couple words.

Tone. Here, describe the tone of voice you want the ad or other written piece to have.  Maybe it needs to be serious, funny, hopeful, patriotic, etc.

Call to Action.  This is the most important piece of information.  This is the whole point of placing an ad in the first place.  What is the action you want the reader/viewer to take in response to the ad?  This could be to place an order online, call you, come into your store, you get the drift.  Include in this section everything that’s needed for the reader to take action, and make sure you’re only asking the reader to take one action.  Don’t ask them to do more than one thing.

Type of advertisement.  This is where you put details about the actual ad.  For example, quarter-page newspaper ad (list dimensions), online ad (list dimensions, website), flyer, poster, etc, etc.

Due dates.  You’ll have due dates for getting things to the printer or the media outlet, so make sure you finish your creative  work well in advance.

It’s really this simple.  Make yourself a template and you’ll have half the work done before you even start for every advertisement you write.

Jillian's Currently Reading: Guerrilla Marketing, 4th edition: Easy and Inexpensive Strategies for Making Big Profits from Your Small Business
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