How to Write a Brief for a Freelance PR Consultant
The PR Cavalry
Ask for our Bulletproof PR Briefing Template is the short answer, just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and it’s yours.
The slightly longer answer goes like this:
If you want to throw your PR budget down the pan and make yourself angry and upset, ask a PR freelancer to work without a clear brief.
Or, devote some careful thought to a process that will bring you rich rewards.
Your budget will go further, you’ll have the undying love of the Freelance PR you work with and you won’t burn expensive time later on trying to understand why that thing you thought was perfectly obvious, isn’t. You will also discover more about your own priorities for your business.
So what’s in the perfect Freelance PR brief?
What follows are some extracts from our Bulletproof PR Briefing Template. You can get the whole document for free by emailing email@example.com and we’ll send it straight to you.
The key thing is to avoid jargon and write for someone who doesn’t know much about how your industry or sector operates, even if you think it’s obvious.
Start by describing what your business does. This may well have two or more ways of being described – for example a luxury brand produces emotions as well as products, or a retailer produces experiences as much as it does a channel to buy.
You need to explain who you compete with. Again, this is not necessarily obvious. To take an example, Camelot, the national lottery operator is in the gambling category, but it sees its competitors not as betting shops or online casinos so much as a Snickers bar or some other everyday brand in that price range that offers instant gratification.
Who are you trying to reach with your PR campaign?
For a B2B business this will always have two answers. What sectors or industry categories are you targeting, but also what is the job title of the person who influences the buying decision?
What do you want your target market to do – visit your site, sign up to something, or even NOT do something?
Make these answers specific and recognise that PR is mostly about helping your market understand what you do and why, it can’t make anyone do anything.
What is the Context of Your PR Brief?
What is else is going in your business and the market generally? Is your PR campaign part of a wider communications effort and what role do you see PR having in that?
Also, why now? What has prompted you to hire a PR freelancer?
How Will You Measure PR Success?
This is one of the most difficult questions there is. There are useful resources out there on measuring PR, such as the AMEC Framework which is a free, practical grid for deciding between outputs and outcomes of a campaign.
Ultimately you have to produce a definition of successful outcomes that is relevant to your business plan and objectives.
You also have to put a figure on that to say what it’s worth to you to accomplish those goals. Again, this is not an easy question to answer and if you say “well I’m not an expert, the Freelance PR should tell me” you will both go round in circles until you reach a figure that probably you had in mind at the start. A bit of careful thought will save you both a lot of time.
We have decades of experience in the development of a PR briefs and if you are struggling we will work through the briefing template with you for a fee of £250 +VAT. Just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’d be delighted to help you.