Brief

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THE CLIENT BRIEF
A best practice guide to briefing communications agencies

Joint industry guidelines for young marketing professionals in working effectively with agencies

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CONTENTS
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS NOTES ON COPYRIGHT USING THE DOCUMENT

PAGE
3 4 5

PART 1
‘THE CLIENT BRIEF’ summary 6

PART 2
‘THE CLIENT BRIEF’ in more detail INTRODUCTION RECOMMENDED AGENCY BRIEFING PROCESS THE NEW STRUCTURE FOR BRIEFS PROJECT MANAGEMENT WHERE ARE WE NOW? WHERE DO WE WANT TO BE? WHAT ARE WE DOING TO GET THERE? WHO DO WE NEED TO TALK TO? HOW WILL WE KNOWWE’VE ARRIVED? PRACTICALITIES APPROVALS 18 19 21 23 24 24 26 28 30 33 34 37

PART 3
MARKET RESEARCH 38

PART 4
ABOUT THE CO-SIGNATORIES: CAF IPA ISBA MCCA PRCA 130 130 130 130 130 130

PART 5
REFERENCES 131

2

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
Whilst the writing of ‘The Client Brief’ has been a team effort, the major contribution of Chris Herd, Managing Director of Bates UK and member of the IPAValue of Advertising Committee, should be acknowledged. Chris worked tirelessly to ensure that as wide a range of people’s views as possible was sought on the subject of briefing agencies, and was assiduous in incorporating their points into the document. His diligence has produced a result which has received widespread endorsement and represents a significant contribution to industry best practice.The demanding tasks of co-ordinating the final stages of corrections, proofreading, preparing for printing and delivering of both the printed product and the online document have been the responsibility of Jill Bentley, IPA Corporate Identity Manager, and we’re thankful for her eye for quality and accuracy. We are most appreciative of the contribution made by Street London in designing thefinished booklet, establishing the look and feel for the whole series of best practice guides, and in sponsoring the production. Debbie Morrison, ISBA Director of Membership Services, has been a great champion of the project. With Malcolm Earnshaw, ISBA’s Director General’s support, she has gathered many examples of her members’ briefing formats, facilitated the quantitative research which was conductedamongst a significant sample of senior clients and ensured that the ISBA membership had ample opportunity to input into the process and into the drafts. We are also grateful for the support provided by the two IPA Presidents in office during the period: initially Bruce Haines, Group Chief Executive of Leo Burnett and then Stephen Woodford, Chief Executive of WCRS. Matthew Hooper, Chief Executiveof Interfocus and President of the MCCA, and Graham Lancaster, Chairman of Euro RSCG Biss Lancaster and Chairman of the PRCA, together with the IPA, committed the Communications Agencies Federation (CAF), of which they are the founder members, to the project. Through Scott Knox, Director General of the MCCA and Flora Hamilton, Director General of the PRCA, their respective memberships have alsobeen fully involved in the research and development of these guidelines. ‘The Client Brief’ contains wise words from some senior industry figures and these endorsements of the benefits of more effective briefing are a valuable contribution for which we must thank Andrew Nebel, Barnardo’s UK Director of Marketing & Communications, Alan Doyle, Volkswagen UK’s Communications Manager, and Alan Bishop,Chief Executive of the COI. Finally we must recognise the many contributions from agency practitioners across the spectrum of disciplines. They too have provided examples of their briefing formats and enlivened the process with useful insights and anecdotes on what goes wrong, and right, when clients brief their agencies. Their candour, like that of the clients who participated, and their near...
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