A client, an Account Manager and a Creative Director walk into a bar. Jokes, they don’t hang out together. Sad, but true. If you think about it, having these three people under the same roof from time to time would make the world of difference when it comes to the creative process. Unfortunately, if you’re familiar with agencies if you’ll know this isn’t always possible – or viable.

So how do agencies go about creating cohesion and keeping the peace between the client and their creative team? They hire an Account Manager that knows how to put together a killer brief, of course!

You see, the humble little brief doesn’t get enough pats on the back, if we’re being honest, having the ability to take the client’s thoughts and translate them into something that the creative can actually work with is an important skill for any commercial facing employee.

Here’s a look at three important things to keep in mind when briefing your creative team:


1. No detail is “too much detail”

The thing about creatives is, well they’re creative, this probably means that they’re often off chasing rad ideas and dreaming up creative executions. Need to wrangle them? Snacks and caffeine are great bribes.

While it might seem easier to take abbreviated notes in your client briefing session, you need to pick the client’s brain for everything it has. Understand their challenges, their frustrations, and what you as the Account Manager can do to make them look good when they have to report back to their bosses at the end of their campaign. Then, put it on paper. Unpack it. Pull it apart and then add in more detail. The next step is to host an internal kickstart with your creative team to unpack every one of those details.

2. Ask the difficult questions

Okay, there’s no denying it – asking client the tough questions can be, well, tough. But someone’s got to do it. What are the budget restrictions? What are you trying to achieve through this campaign? What are your expectations for this campaign? Is this the best way to reach brand objectives?

These are a few of the things the Account Manager should be asking in any briefing session. After all, the client should see the agency team as a trusted advisor.

3. Let the experts do their thing

If you trust the creative team to deliver the goods, you need to give them the mic. Just as your role is to keep the client happy, you also need to make sure you look after your creative team.

Give them room, let them work their magic, and trust the process. Remember: there’s a difference between ensuring everything is on track and sticking your finger in all the pies.

While keeping the above points in mind will work wonders in keeping the peace between all parties, a little give and take is also required from everyone. It’s all fine and well pushing back when resources are booked but when it comes down to the wire, there might be cases where everyone needs to band together to pull a rabbit out of a hat.

Blog post by Samantha Parrish, Account Manager.

Connect with Samantha on LinkedIn.