A dummies Guide to the Briefing and De-Briefing Process

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It has come to my attention recently that the basic knowledge of how things work in project management is uncharted territory to many self-proclaimed project/marketing professionals who hold high positions (unfortunately) in commercial businesses. Sad but true! It’s ok though, as a person who loves to spread knowledge, this is a great opportunity for me to educate who does not think himself a guru☺.

I will take you now through a step-by-step process on the journey, let’s get started! Following all the planning and development of your new product/proposition and signing off on all its benefits, requirements, etc… you will have to start drafting briefs that would go to several other departments in your organization, why you might ask; well we draft these briefs so that all other affected departments are aware of this new product/proposition that will be released, for them to take necessary action in preparing their troops to support its launch. But we are here to specifically talk about the project brief and de-brief from a marketing and advertising aspect of the business.


a. You will have to draft all project aspects and marketing related information in the brief:

i. Background on why this is being done

ii. Project description and how it works

iii. Your target audience

iv. The purpose of this campaign whether it be acquisition, retention or simply awareness

v. Your business/marketing objectives. What is the goal of this project?

vi. Your communication objectives, in phases if the campaign period was stretched out over a couple of months. What is it that you hope to communicate to your target?

vii. Campaign period viii. Your preferred communication channels. (the marketing department and advertising agency might change this based on their experience and knowledge to support your campaign)

ix. Your KPIs

x. Last but not least, drumroll please… Your budget. Many companies fear sharing this with their agency, thinking that they would rather review what the agency shares in cost then and cut it in half. Well it doesn’t work this way, this isn’t efficient project management and this would only lead to time wasted, coming back and forth with cost proposals. If you have a budget give it, if you don’t, then what the hell are you writing a brief for?

b. Congratulation, now you know the basic needs of a brief sent to a marketing department/creative agency. There are many versions of a marketing brief which only gives more details. Note, the more details you provide the better.


2) After writing the brief you send the brief to the marketing department or creative agency. You might think adding this step is funny as it goes unsaid, but again this is a step-by-step guide for dummies.

3) Next, the marketing department and/or creative agency would read and read and read again till they memorize the cheesy marketing terms that you have added in your brief, why you might ask; well this is so to prepare them for the de-brief session that would follow. Some think that the de-brief is a session/meeting held so you would verbally reiterate The Brief that you have sent them, if this happened to you then rest assured that the person who assumed this does not know how to read and should be fired from your organization immediately. You see, the receiving end should review the brief to understand the project/proposition and your marketing/communication objectives; this will bring up questions, thoughts, ideas and maybe even change of communication approach and timelines. Where all this would be discussed in The De-Brief. :D.

4) Call for a De-Brief meeting that includes the project owner, marketing department, creative team.

5) THE De-BRIEF Session (Huddle Up!!)

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a. In this one hour or 2 hour meeting the marketing team/agency will start throwing magic spells at you (questions) to help them understand more your war plans to invade the White Walkers.

b. With these questions it is also expected that they share with you their recommendations. These recommendations might change your communication plan and/or campaign timelines (approach or release to market).

c. Expect some change from the meeting so it is wise to note down the discussion points and what has been agreed on.

d. Following the meeting you would send out to all project stakeholder for this marketing campaign the minutes of meeting attached to the original project/marketing brief.


Congrats my friend, now you have the step-by-step guide to not mess up this simple task that is considered 1 of 500 other tasks that falls under the overall project. I hope you found the information useful, if you have constructive criticism or additions that could make this process better please do share it via my twitter account @amashhadi.


Cheers 😉

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