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The briefing – an important basis for good texts

The briefing – an important basis for good texts

If things go well, there it is, as if it had been there all along: the text. With no waffling, no mistakes or hesitations, a harmonious and uniform piece. With precisely expressed, comprehensible messages which capture and convince the reader and, if appropriate, motivate them to click or to purchase. But before convincing communication can take shape, many questions and a lot of research and thought are required – as well as the briefing.

The briefing is a kind of introduction in the form of a task description. As a copywriter, it is an important tool for getting our cooperation off to a successful start and enabling me to do my work. It tells me what exactly you are looking for – what you do, who your audience is and where you want to go. The more information and (sales) arguments you can provide and the more detailed and precise the description of your objectives, the more accurate and successful my text. Thorough groundwork on the briefing saves unnecessary correction rounds, questions and discussions later – and leads more quickly to a text that's perfectly suited to your requirements.

Asking the right questions

This is my job. Because your briefing should be as conclusive as possible and provide me with all the answers I need. For this reason, I've created a special list of questions which I like to provide upon first contact (of course it is also useful as a recurring topic when we already know each other). In other words, you receive a briefing form from me with many questions. For example:

What exactly do you offer?
Please describe your business idea or your offer (3-5 sentences).
Is there anything special about your history?
How did your idea arise? Is there perhaps an interesting story about the company founder or unusual aspects of your history that could be reported?
What benefits and added value do you offer your customers?
What's special about your offer? What sets you apart from the competition, i.e. what's your USP? Who are your main competitors?
What is this text about? What is your aim?
Is it about a single product, special services, a particular event or your company on the whole? What should the text trigger? Should it primarily inform the readers or entertain them, transport a certain image – or motivate them to purchase?
What is your target group?
A key question! Why is this group important to you? What are its preferences? Where is this group found (e.g. on which social networks)? What does it talk about? Are these prospective or existing customers? Are they already familiar with the topic or is it new to them?
What tonality should the text have? What should it sound like? Do you perhaps also need it in English?
How do you want to address the desired target group, e.g. formally and seriously or hip and modern? Should a certain wording be used (if so, is there a wording guideline to which I should adhere)? Do you perhaps need the text in two languages?
Where will the text be published? In print or online?
A blog entry for your homepage or a printed press release – which is it? Aspects such as structure, tonality or text length vary greatly depending on the channel and the type of text. If the text is being published online, SEO aspects also play a key role.
Are there any stylistic examples you particularly like (or don't like)?
Competitor websites, for example, particularly successful customer magazines or brochures. It can also be the opposite, i.e. "Anything but this!" ;-)
»These questions should be regarded as examples – my actual list of questions is, of course, significantly longer, depending on the scope of the text or project. As my client, you provide the relevant answers – and I set about delivering the best ideas for your objectives. Do you already have all the answers in mind and want to get started straight away? Then drop me a line at: