Well Briefed is Half the Battle Won

Video has emerged as an effective medium of communication. But to get started with such a project, the client needs to have a good briefing.

Writing a briefing is paying off in the long run. In all honesty! Admittedly, it costs time and effort, but it gives you a clear view of the project, the objectives and the related tasks. And that will pay off in the course of the project. You’ll be able to plan the project wisely and reduce the questions and misunderstandings of all parties to a minimum. It also helps the potential production companies to deliver a reliable cost estimate.

Reality shows, however, that writing briefings is not very popular. Where to begin and where to stop? What is the bare minimum and what is over the top?

We’ve assembled the most important aspects in a short brief for you.

1. What is Your Goal?
It sounds so simple and yet it’s the central aspect: what is the goal of your film? For example, do your products require explanation? Then a video could provide clarity. The more precisely you phrase your goal, the more focused the concept of the corporate video can be. At this point in time you don’t need to have an exact idea of what kind of format the video should be in. You can expect recommendations for this from your production company.

2. Who is Your Target Group?
There’s no one-size-fits-all solution for videos. No film appeals to everyone equally – and there’s no need to. However, the better you know your target group, the more accurately and effectively you can address your audience. If you have identified the basic challenge that your messages need to communicate (for example, “products that need to be explained as their application isn’t easy and no one understands them”), you need to also specify the target group. Ask yourself questions such as:

  • Who is the typical buyer of these products?
  • What is the main problem of the typical buyer that needs to be solved?
  • What information does the buyer need?
  • Why does our product solve the buyer’s main problem?
  • etc.

3. Plan the Distribution of Your Corporate Video!
In times when 300 hours of video material are uploaded to YouTube every minute, you have to think about how you distribute your video at an early stage (Source: brandwatch.com). As part of your corporate communication, it should be strategically aligned with other communication measures. You can find more about this in the blog entry: “Content is King, Distribution is Queen – and She Wears the Pants”.

 4. Talk Openly About Your Budget!
“What does a video cost?” You might as well ask for the cost of a kitchen. Just like the kitchen builder, a production company also needs a little more information in order to be able to estimate the effort as precisely as possible. This is possible with a detailed briefing paper.

At this point I would also like to promote the topic transparency: Talk openly about money! You win nothing if you keep your budget a secret for as long as possible. And hand on heart: We all know that you know your numbers. Even those very first discussions with the production company should reflect mutual trust. After all, we want to successfully implement a big project together!

Tell us everything that’s on your mind: For example, you might need photo material or TV footage extracted from the video later. Make a note of this, as the production process or the film equipment may need to be adjusted accordingly. Whatever you consider important for the project, here’s the place for it.

After that what remains for you is to wait and see what the production companies that you’ve invited to the pitch create from your briefing paper. If you’ve done your homework, they should be able to present their ideas well!