Writing a corporate video brief is the crucial first step to making sure you end up with the video you want.
This article is a checklist of items to consider when you’re putting your ideas and ambitions down on paper.
But there’s some tips on what not to do too!
DON’T GO IT ALONE
Don’t tackle brief writing in isolation. Involve relevant colleagues (and bosses!) before you finalise any brief. I know – it will take time and may stir up a hornet’s nest of conflicting ideas and opinions. But it’s far better to have these discussions at the outset. Confusion during production will cause delays and may add to costs.
WHAT IS MY VIDEO FOR?
This is not the same as “What is my video about?” It’s asking what effect you want you video to have on your audience – not what you want to include in it. Being clear about the purpose of the video will help your video producer determine how best to get your message across.
PUT YOUR AUDIENCE FIRST
WHO is your video aimed at? Be as specific as you can. If it’s “the mass market” – that’s fine. If it’s “the chief executives of NHS Trusts” (as one of our videos was aimed at) – that’s fine too. Just be clear, and it’ll help your video producer come up an approach to appeal to your target market.
TACKLE TONE AND STYLE
It can be a bit tricky to pin down how you want your video to look and feel. But have a stab – because it’s invaluable information for a producer. Do you want it to be warm and friendly? humorous? Maybe it needs to be clinical and professional? Loud and aggressive? Fast-cut and frantic? or traditional and re-assuring? If you’re really stuck, thinking about the character and feel of your organisation is often a good start.
NAIL YOUR MUST HAVES
You may not want to include this in your written brief – but I recommend identifying which elements of the video are absolute essentials. So if you do end up negotiating on budgets, at least you can tell your video producer which ingredients you can’t live without.
Even the simplest videos should be made with polish and professionalism. However, there are levels of “production values” and whether you’re looking for something glossy and spectacular, or well-made but simple – you need to say so. A really high end corporate production with celebrity presenters, multiple foreign shoots, expensive aerial photography and CGI sequences from George Lucas will cost more than a more standard production. If you have that level of aspiration – you need to tell your video producer or they simply won’t budget for what you want. Likewise – if you want well made but with no frills. Say so!
STATE YOUR PRICE?
A video brief is usually the starting point for a number of video producers to come back to you with ideas and proposed budgets so you can make comparisons. However, if you already have an allocated budget – a fixed price you want to spend – you can say so in your brief. Just make sure you ask producers for a breakdown of how they would spend it. Then you can still compare proposals and decide which one will give you the best bang for your budget.
SET YOUR DEADLINES
If you have a definite deadline for the delivery of a finished video – be clear. Video production companies with broadcast TV track records are very accustomed to fast turnarounds, but may be simply too busy to accommodate your production in your time frame. So best let them know.
BE OPEN TO QUESTIONS
It’s likely that even with the fullest of briefs, a video production company may need a few questions answered to help them prepare a proper response. Make sure your brief names an individual who’s happy to help with further information. It’s in your best interest to help a producer really understand what you’re looking for.
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