How To Write A Creative Brief For Any Proposal

How To Write A Creative Brief For Any Proposal


A creative brief is simply a set of instructions delivered with any and all relevant information. It could be a few sentences or it could be a few pages. The important thing is that you are passing along every possible one of your needs and project parameters. Specificity is key, you don’t just want to be delivered a poster, you want a 27″ x 41″ poster. Feel free to be overkill in this document, it is organized so other parties will be able to pull exactly what they need out of it.

What Is Included In A Creative Brief?

1. Project Name

Your name should be catchy yet informative. You are going to use this when talking about it and in the future when referencing back to it making it worthwhile enough to put some thought into it. Thinking about this in ten words or less will also help you get on track.

2. Overview

In about a paragraph or so, give the broad strokes on what your project is about. No need to include every detail, you will have an opportunity for that later. Answer questions like where are you going, what are you doing, how does it compare to other things you have done in the past, etc.

3. Objective

This is your desired outcome, your mission statement. This should be 1 -2 sentences in length and both sum up the overview and what you are trying to do. You should try to make this SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-bound). This will help you build your blueprint, push you further and hold you more accountable.

4. Target Audience

A list of all the relevant characteristics of the person you want to go after. Gender, location, age, hobbies, beliefs, habits and more are all things to look at. You can say you want to target everyone, which is all well and good, but by targeting a very specific individual you both have a better chance to fight through the noise and reveal things about how your content should be in this early development stage.


5. Competitors

If you are not transparent about how your competitors factor into what you are doing, you are being naive. Maybe it has little and maybe it has a lot, but you should document that and it should be clear what you are doing about it, even if nothing. Are you trying to beat something that already exists or are you doing something completely new? You messaging and priorities will be affected.

6. Positioning

What is your message? How do you want people to see you? This is different from the objective because it is an external concern and not an internal one.

7. Deliverables

This is where you are defining your parameters. Create an item bullet list of the products you need this project to yield. Size, file type, content types, minimums and maximums, etc. What exactly do you need at the end of all this, define it here.

8. Timing

Add a rough schedule of expected milestones. Not only do you need to identify when a final product is due, but you should also think about other dates involved. For example with a video, when version 1 is due or when interviews for it need to be recorded by.

9. Background Information / Appendix

Go overkill on the information you are putting in this section. Pretend like you are explaining your brief to someone who knows nothing about what you do. Is this related to a project in the past? List them and talk about what worked and what didn’t. Are there people, places or things involved? Give a rundown on each of them. People may not even look at this section, but it is where they can go to reference absolutely anything they need.

List any and all links to anything that has to do with you, your past stuff, or with the project at hand. The idea is that people use these “instructions” have everything they need in one place. They do not need to go back and look at a past email to find something. Link to your site and socials, past creative briefs and post mortems, inspiration for your project and sources to anything you talk about.

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