Are you trustworthy? It's a must for a creative brief writer.

I used to say that before you can write a single word on a creative brief, you need a strategy. It's time to amend that. There's an important precept that straddles the two: trust. Strategy must be in place before the brief can be written. But before you can begin the creative brief process, you, the writer, must have established a clear, open and honest relationship with the team of people who will work from your brief. This is why collaboration is so important. This is why the very idea of writing a creative brief by yourself is...crazy.

But step back for a moment and ask yourself: Are you trustworthy? Don't take this question for granted. Even if you've been working in your organization for years, you may not know the answer. Worse, you may overestimate the answer. And if you're brand new, you must take the necessary steps to build that trust.

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As Warren Buffet has said, it takes years to build a good reputation and only five minutes to ruin it.

I teach English composition, critical thinking and argumentation at Glendale College in Los Angeles. This semester, I plan to challenge my students with a short writing assignment in which they argue their trustworthiness:

Are you trustworthy? Make your case in a short, well-written paragraph. Show it to your  friends and family. Do they agree?

Whether your task is to write the creative brief or you work from it, knowing the degree of trustworthiness you possess plays a huge role in the success of both the document and the outcome.

TrustworthinessI urge you to try this exercise. Not only is it an exercise in building trust, but it's also an exercise is learning how others view you. The fact that you'd ask the question and invite others to respond will enhance their respect for you.

The creative brief is the first step in the creative process, and as the first step, its most vital content is unwritten.