Protip: Pretest Your Brief

The creative brief tells anyone touching or reviewing the piece—whether it’s a blog post or set of social media posts—exactly what the piece is supposed to do. So how do you pretest its effectiveness? Find out if it inspires your creatives.

“What is it we’re selling, who’s it for, and why does it matter to them?”

Writing the brief is tough. But the real test is in how it’s received by the creatives.

  • Do they smile as you’re presenting it? That could be their imaginations already seeing possibilities…or at least a clear space to play in.
  • Do they ask questions? If they don’t seem happy and don’t ask questions, you haven’t inspired them. This is a clear sign of a problem.
  • Do they seem annoyed? If so, find out what’s confusing or annoying them.

It’s not up to them to prove that your brief doesn’t make sense. If you want good creative to happen under your watch, it’s for you to convince them.

Let me just be blunt: If it doesn’t make sense to your creatives, it’s on you to rewrite it (not just explain it better or show examples or tell them they’re just not looking at it correctly). To be clear, I’m not trying to give you more work here; I’m trying to put you in control.

In this moment, forget your title. Your creative team is your client. You’re here to set them up for genius work. You don’t get the credit for any of said work (unless you want to sabotage all hope of having good work happen). You’re the researcher; they’re the creative geniuses.

So after you’ve done all your research and written it the best way you can, the best test of a creative brief is how creatives view it. If they have a problem with it, they’ll tell you. Then rewrite it.