Make or break with a project brief

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Not a revelation, however, the quality of the project brief is the fundamental predictor of whether a project succeeds or fails.

The ArjoHuntleigh featured image was a wonderful case in point. The original corporate brochure project had no defined project brief and was failing to achieve the desired output. Here we explore some elements of a good brief and the benefit it can bring to your healthcare communications projects.

In my popular LinkedIn Pulse post – The 10 Most Important Things I Learned at ArjoHuntleigh, I described the following;

“I start every single project or assignment with a brief. It forces me to articulate very concisely exactly what you are trying to achieve. The brief invariably defines also a small advisory group/ project team and it is imperative that this is signed off by wider stakeholders. In this way as the project progresses you can continually come back to the original starting brief to determine whether it is still on track and allows clear decisions to be made. In every project I have seen that has gone off the rails and failed, the route cause is almost exclusively that no original brief was created. I actually extended the idea to ensure we provided a brief to each of the leadership summit speakers.”

Investing in quality

There is a further clue in the name – brief. It should be possible for any marketer or business leader to write a reasonable project brief in about an hour. This can then be tightened up by other members of the team and in consultation with an agency. It can be challenging to find the right words to really articulate in the best way. Nevertheless, it is well worth the time and effort to invest.
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Structure of the brief

Our brief creates structure, giving either the agency, project team or customer clear confidence that we have dedicated the time to articulate what is important.

  • Purpose – of the brief or document
  • Project scope – background rationale for the project
  • Commercial objectives – what you are seeking to achieve
  • Expected outcomes – what tangible impact it will have
  • Target audience(s) – who you are seeking to influence
  • Timelines – when should the project be complete
  • Brand essence/ corporate visual identify – what specific corporate identify guidelines should be incorporated
  • Key Messages – what top messages do you wish to convey
  • Budget – what is the scope of the budget
  • Project team – who is likely to make up the project team
  • Contacts – how to get hold of you

We have expanded the idea of the brief to many areas; as guidance for speakers, facilitators, photographers, literature reviews and online projects.

Our series of posts, eBooks and white papers are here to help share some best practices on getting value from your healthcare communications projects.


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