There are many moving parts when creating digital PR campaigns, and one of, if not the most important factor ahead of content creation is writing a campaign brief. Putting all pertinent project information in one place in an easy to read and understand format allows all teams and clients to be on the same page from the start and understand their role.
But there’s more than just creating the brief for everyone to potentially read or skim. It is essential that all client stakeholders sign it off, in writing. This ensures that, from the very beginning, everything is clear and you avoid major disruptions such as technical issues, large edit requests, and anything that will have an impact on the campaign’s execution. Plus, briefs help avoid working out of scope or over budget.
It goes without saying that hurdles pop up, but having a brief minimises the unexpected, especially in the form of client feedback.
What to include in your campaign brief
Briefs typically vary slightly based on the project and client, but the below is a great starting point, featuring major campaign elements:
1. Campaign overview
Write a few sentences explaining the campaign, including
- the concept
- why it’s a good idea and brand relevant
- the data that will be used and key brand messaging
This ensures stakeholders who may not have been involved in the campaign ideation understand the plan.
2. Campaign objective
Outline the goals and objectives detailed in step 1 of your Digital PR process, so both you and the client have a mutual understanding of the purpose of the campaign. It might include quantitative and qualitative goals and a note of what a successful campaign means.
3. Campaign timeline
Create a gantt chart timeline using different colours to highlight each team’s requirements and major milestones, such as the go-live date. By making client input dates clear, they have the opportunity to incorporate it in their schedule or suggest alternative dates.
4. Content deliverables
Develop an overview of the content output for the campaign to cover all your bases and the client knows what to expect. This includes actual campaign deliverables, such as
- blog posts with accompanying
- data (and how you plan to get the data)
- internal linking for each piece
Also include supporting campaign content such as press releases and reports.
5. Visual mock-ups
Depending on the campaign’s visuals (tables, graphics, a microsite etc.), add mood boards, colour pallets, wireframes and example content, so there are no surprises once the content is created and any brand stakeholders can input.
6. Content location and technical requirements
Add the location of the live campaign (on-site, on the blog, in a c-folder, social media etc.) and any technical requirements needed from either the client or agency. This allows time for the technical team time to grant access and set up folders if required.
Include an overview of your outreach strategy: potential headlines, target publications, key journalists, exclusive opportunities. This is especially helpful if you are working alongside an in-house PR team.
8. Reporting metrics
Reiterate the metrics you will be reporting, how you will track them and the location of any live-tracking (a shared Google sheet listing coverage as and when it comes in can be useful).
9. Feedback process
Explain how many rounds of feedback for each piece of content are within the scope of the project, so the client understands feedback is not unlimited. Unlimited rounds of feedback take time and go wide of the budget.
10. Client requirements
Clearly list all client requirements and reiterate dates from the timeline, so they can plan. This may include social media posting, supplying internal data, sharing quotes for outreach, granting access to the sites back end, etc.
Before sharing the brief with the client, have your team review to make sure nothing was missed and any potential questions are flagged. And reiterating again, have in writing, client sign-off.