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Mar 05


I’ve been working on the training materials for our Writing Briefs and Assessing Agency Responses programme and decided that if I am going to be providing guidance to marketers on this subject, then I need genuine insights from ‘the horses mouth’ – agencies that is!

Many of my friends and acquaintances on the agency side provided me snippets of insight and nuggets of information but I wanted to dig a bit deeper, so I met with PR guru and agency aficionado Sam Tomlin, Director at CommsIQ to answer some of my questions:

Joanne: Are clients’ briefs really that bad?

Sam: Honestly, probably one of the most frustrating parts of our job as an agency is trying to decipher what clients want because more often than not their briefs are unclear.

Joanne: And what do you think is the main reason behind that?

Sam: I think in many cases it could be down to clients being so busy, which results in briefs being rushed and the client not giving it the thinking time that is needed.

Joanne: What are the most common issues you come across?

Sam: As a PR agency I often see general communications objectives that are too broad and not specific to PR, so I’d say a recurring issue is a lack of well thought through objectives.

Joanne: If you received better briefs, what would be the benefits?

Sam: If we spent more time delivering against objectives than trying to understand them then it would result in even greater productivity and better results, and for the client it’d mean us asking them less questions, so giving them more time to focus on other things – so a win:win all round!


Well, it seems pretty clear – poorly constructed briefing documents inevitably lead to poorer outputs and wasted time & money. So, I’m calling out to all Marketing Directors – if you want to get more bang for your buck when it comes to getting the most out of your agencies – ensure your team is equipped and well versed in the art of writing solid briefs and if they need some help in developing and honing those skills, then The Progress Lab is happy to help… Check out all of the details of our Writing Briefs & Addressing Agency Responses by clicking¬†here