Interpreting a Public Relations Brief

When you start working as a pr consultant, whether as a freelance public relations consultant, or in an employee capacity, for one or for many clients, you will receive a brief from each client, for each project.

Being able to identify the various parts of a pr brief can help you identify any potential problems, or items you need to clarify with your client. Here is what a good brief should contain:

  • A description of the purpose of the brief. This should set out the desired result, for example raising public awareness, as well as the duration, in years or months, or whether the brief is to create a strategy only.
  • Ideally, some form of market research should be included, on which you will base your strategy. This can include direct or indirect market research, demographics or statistical data. This would be used to develop a targeted campaign for example, if the demographics show that young adults are the target market, it would be counter productive to launch a sophisticated campaign!
  • Background regarding the need for the brief. For example, a company may state that they are seeking a public awareness campaign and promotion for a new product they are launching.
  • The aim and objective of the campaign, which, for example, could be to create awareness within a particular market segment about a product, service or idea that relates to them, to boost sales, increase public participation, or some other objective.
  • Details of any previous campaigns or promotions relating to the product, service or idea you will be promoting.
  • The target audience. This would be much more in depth an analysis of the audience you want to reach. Their age, gender, economic situation, or even level of education could form a part of this part of the brief.

If you receive a brief that contains all of this information, you should be able to correctly interpret the client’s requirements, and provide the service they need.

With this information, you should be able to discern what the product or service that you will be promoting is, and what the desired result of that promotion would be. You will be able to establish who the target market is, and what they would best respond to.

It’s therefore clear that receiving a comprehensive brief from your client is critical, in order to create an effective, well thought out promotional strategy. If you have not received this from your client, it is certainly worthwhile compiling a list of your questions, and requesting clarity, to avoid costly mistakes!

If you own your own pr consulting firm, or work as a freelance pr consultant, it may even be worthwhile to set up a questionnaire, which clients can fill in, providing the information you need to design and implement the perfect promotions strategy.

However you get the necessary information however, you will need to know this key information in order to deliver an outstanding pr service to your clients!

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