Natalya Mignenko, a PR specialist, claims the sales department and cold calls are an atavism. It is more useful to deliver information about the product to potential customers through comprehensive, capacious and expert materials in the media. Natalia shares her experience on how to promote a company in the popular press and which tools to use for that.
Magic Tool for a Good Text: Press Release Brief
You are a business owner who wants to be published in the media. How do you fill out the brief without wasting your time and money? Read this guide for helpful tips and suggestions.
What a Brief Is
A brief is a document with a set of requirements for a particular task. The client describes what the goals of a press release are, provides key points, and advises what he or she wants to achieve as an end result. A brief solves several issues simultaneously:
- helps the service provider understand the main core of the task and plan the work to be undertaken;
- helps clients define exactly what they need;
- helps both parties to come to an agreement concerning a product they wish to obtain.
A brief is aimed at settling all the issues that might arise before a given task is undertaken. In such a case both the service provider and the client gain an accurate understanding of the task, see the ways of solving it and can agree on the desired outcome so both may have the same expectations.
Why a Client Doesn’t Want to Write a Brief
Jon Doe contacted the PRNEWS.io team for publication in the media. A businessperson who doesn’t want to be distracted by trivial things, John Doe considers brief writing a waste of time. For this reason, he delegates the responsibility to a service provider to take care of the brief on his behalf.
Jon Doe says:
“Visit our website; you will find all the information there.”“Here are the articles about our competitors — do the same.”“Could you fill out the brief for me? I’ll give you keywords.”“I don’t like this paper routine!”“We worked with you on our first article. It was good. We have another news hook now, but you can use the old brief.”“Had I known how to write the text, I wouldn’t be asking you for help.”
If PRNEWS.io editors considered accepting the assignment without a brief, the results for the client would be completely unpredictable. The client might like the work or might dislike it because the expected results weren’t previously negotiated.
A Brief Makes the Results Predictable
Clients’ expectations may differ, thus PRNEWS.io editors need to have an outline of the results a client wants to achieve.
Without a properly written brief, clients waste their time and money. Moreover, no one can guarantee any results.
It may seem that writing a brief makes the process longer and more complex. Nevertheless, we can tell you that the process of creating a text without a brief takes about 4 to 5 times longer compared to when a brief is used as part of the process.
When a brief is filled out correctly, clients accept a work assignment with minimum revisions. If a client provides a brief with all the needed information, their text is usually ready in 5 to 10 hours.
When we worked with our clients without a brief, we could spend weeks working on a single text. Clients often added new information to the text without advising the editor accordingly or asked to change the text topic and structure.
Routine where no brief is involved
PRNEWS.io took the John Doe order without an accompanying brief. Consequently, the editorial team faced many delays.
Timeline of events
February 1 — the account manager collected all the requirements from the client and transferred the required material to the editorial staff → the editor examined the content, gathered the pertinent information from the client’s website, but the data was insufficient → managers sent the request to John Doe → an author created a draft for the article.
February 2 — client added more information to the draft → the editor made pertinent corrections.
February 3 — John Doe’s PM added new information to the draft → the editor made pertinent corrections.
February 4 — the PR manager changed the news hook of the article → the editor made pertinent corrections.
February 5 — added a commentary from John Doe...
Only on February 14 was the text ready and finally published in the media. For two weeks John Doe spent part of his time on minor corrections and issues.
Further and as to be expected, he wasn’t overly excited with the result itself.
Routine where a brief is involved
Jane Doe spent an hour to fill out the brief sample.
February 1 — the account manager discussed all the details with the client, offered the platform for publication and proposed a tone for the article → the editorial team got the brief and provided the draft to the client in 5 hours → the client made minor corrections → the article was immediately published.
Thus, Jane Doe achieved results in one day. Isn’t it great?!
Benefits of a Brief
Those customers who work with a brief typically obtain the following advantages:
1. A clear understanding of the end goal they wish to achieve.
2. A clear understanding of the entire work process.
3. Time savings for both the service provider and the client.
Points to Consider
To fill out the brief correctly, customers should consider the following:
Target audience. What people already know about the company and its products.
What issues the article solves. Why customers should read your article. How to catch their attention and make them click.
Where it will be published. The type of platform, its audience profile.
What the client expects from the article. Links, clicks, leads, feedback, etc., as well as brand awareness and PR.
Metrics to use. What tools and services to use to measure the effectiveness of the publication.
Who has the final say. It’s essential that the person who creates the brief also be the one who provides approval for content that is ready.
In the case any issue should arise, PRNEWS.io editors will help the client to fill out the brief correctly.
How to Fill Out the Brief
Our brief looks like this:
Provide the editor with more details about your company and the advantages and benefits it offers.
The more information the editor has, the better the text will be.
__________ The brief sets limits for the editor. The more detailed the brief is, the better the result. __________
After the brief is processed, a PRNEWS.io account manager sends it to the editorial department. Editors learn about the topic, gather additional information about the client and about the platform where the text will be published. Writers then create your article.
So, we now know why you should fill the brief out:
- Working with a brief makes the process faster (5–10 hours instead of 40–100);
- The results are predictable;
- A text based on a good brief will be more detailed, catchy, informative, and will help achieve better results;
- Clients who do not wish to fill out the brief waste their time and efforts on negotiations and corrections.