Happy brief writing in 2009

With the New Year just under way, it's time to make a few resolutions to keep your brief writing skills honed.

First, resolve to collaborate whenever you can. Two heads are better than one. And if you enlist your creative team for ideas and feedback, you'll build team rapport not to mention instant buy-in on your brief.

Second, resolve to always have a point of view. A creative brief is a tactical document, so it must be focused. Think of it as an actual ad that you prepare for your creative team to make their job easier.

Third, resolve to be creative yourself when you write the brief. Which means you can't wait until five minutes before the meeting with your creative team to whip out a brief. You know more than you think. Believe it and your briefs will reflect it.

Fourth, resolve to be the creative brief's advocate in your company. It tends to be the Rodney Dangerfield of business documents. It deserves better.

Fifth, resolve to find someone in the creative department (whether it's inside your company or an outside contractor such as a freelancer or an agency) to be your partner as the creative brief's advocate. This kind of alliance shows how serious you and your creatives view the brief. People will take notice.

Sixth, resolve to get someone in upper management to join you and your creative partner to be the creative brief's advocate as well. A three-legged stool has stability. It's a great insurance policy against one of the oldest truisms in the business: "There's never time to do it right but always time to do it over."

Good luck and happy brief writing.

I look forward to sharing my thoughts and insights on the creative brief  in 2009.