Creating Standout Creative for Social Profitability

Not-for-Profits need to start with a standout Creative Brief

The Creative Brief is an all-important step in bringing your cause, company or brand to market. As a communications tool, it puts you and your agency on common ground, speaking the same language and working towards achieving the same goals. Without it, misfires and miscommunication can ensue. Get it right and it becomes your clear path towards Social Profitability.

Before a Creative Brief can be written, it is imperative to begin with a deeper dive into your strategy. Once you’ve uncovered the insights of your cause or brand – you all will have a better understanding of your who.

Your ‘who’ lets your account and creative teams begin to develop your brand’s purpose and personality, or if already established, reiterate it to ensure that the entire team works within the brand guidelines to create something that is fresh and memorable. This helps you to discover the what, why, when and how to begin building your brand identity or establishing a new campaign concept.

Your Creative Brief sets out your goals, guides the process and gives your teams clear direction and parameters from the outset. It helps inform them to brainstorm big picture concepts and roll out ideas. It also addresses very basic information, such as who are the contacts on client and agency side and what is the project name & description. This may seem overly simplistic, but these small details are key to positive communication.

As you begin to write your Creative Brief, consider including these informative elements, written in paragraph and/or bullet point form:

Scope of Project

Includes a brief description of summary & background info, creative scope and an account of all elements to be included under project specifications. This is where you would itemize all media whether print, OOH, social media, website, radio or TV, all complete with as much precise detail as possible.

Audience Profile

Who are we talking to? What do they feel and how do they think? This section covers demographic, psychographic, behavioural and geographic profiles.

Other benchmarks to include are:

Strategic Platforms, Key Insights, Brand Proposition, Marketing/Communications Strategy, Targeted Message, Business & Marketing Objectives. These are areas that will give your team greater perspective and should be incorporated into your Creative Brief to help begin the ideation process. Outline how success will be measured. This establishes expectations from day one.

Develop and define Communications needs. What is the Communication Strategy? What do you want people to do differently? What do you want people to believe and how will you make them feel that way?

Under the Communications banner, add sections for copy and design direction.

Has a brand guideline been established? If not, one should be created once the brand identity, logos, tagline and/or campaign have been approved. Again, consider who you are talking to and what is the tone of voice for messaging and copy. List the key points in order of priority. Are there any additional pieces of information, images or logos that must be included? Is there a call-to-action?

A Creative Considerations section helps define creative insights, mandatories, client preferences, available assets and history. Set out Creative Budgets for stock and custom photography, illustrations, animation, digital development, and time allocations for the creatives assigned to the project to keep everyone on track. Finally, establish Milestone Dates and a comprehensive Workback Schedule.

You’ll find that with a well-documented Creative Brief, you’ll allow your creative team to not only meet your expectations, but take them to the next level. It won’t be long before you conclude that all the upfront effort is – So Worth It!


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