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Content Brief

Learn more about content brief and the right approach to creating one.

Once you’ve ideated and developed your idea into a defined piece of content, create a content brief and send to your creative producers.

You will need to include in the document:

  • Image or video – be clear about dimensions and technical specs. If a video, a basic hand-drawn storyboard or detailed script will help speed up production and subsequent amends
  • Copy – be clear about limits but offer creative freedom
  • Hashtags – research which passion areas this plays into if any. Be aware of using too many (or any at all) as reactive content must not look or feel like marketing
  • Platform – specific requirements – any particular specifications for all channels you intend to publish on
  • Deadlines – be clear about your timeliness needs, and allow contingency for amends and approval.

As the content is being produced, continue to monitor the conversation as it is playing out on social media. Keep in communication with your content producers to ensure the content remains relevant when it is published.

There are a number of check-ins to receive approval. The first one would be when the opportunity first presents itself and you’re planning to create some reactive content. At this stage, your point of approval will give the green light to the very idea of associating your brand with a particular event.

Next, when you are forming a brief, you should again seek outline approval to ensure they are aware of the creative route. Finally, once the content has been produced, the person/team appointed will be waiting to see and eventually approve the completed piece.

As this process likely relies on asynchronous communication such as email, timelines can easily become drawn out. The recommendation is to always speak directly with your point of contact via phone, in person or through a corporate messaging system such as Slack or Skype. You will find that over time, the process becomes quicker and easier as all people involved become accustomed to the requirements of the process and the importance of speedy timeliness.

Once approved, the final step in getting your reactive content live is publishing it in the social media platforms which you previously identified as appropriate for leveraging the opportunity.

This is your final chance to ensure all your media and copy is error-free and still relevant for the conversation as it stands at this second.

Publishing content is not the end of the process. As you are entering an active conversation, you are likely to receive a multitude of responses to your post from all sides of the discussion. Be ready to respond accordingly, thanking for praise but not over-explaining your motives to detractors.

In situations where the creative causes widespread offence, and you cannot fully stand behind the content, perhaps in cases of basic misjudgment, you need to be prepared to delete your content.

This has happened on many occasions. A famous example is a case of shoe designer Kenneth Cole, who joined the conversation around the Arab Spring in Egypt, joking that the ‘uproar in #Cairo’ was in response to their new spring collection being made available online.

A screenshot of a tasteless Kenneth Cole Tweet

This tweet was deleted when it became clear that the audience found it tasteless, and a poor example of ‘newsjacking’ around a key political moment purely for commercial purposes.

Join the discussion

Think of another example of a well-known campaign which became a PR disaster. Briefly describe the campaign and explain the main reasons why you think it failed.
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How to Develop Your Social Media Content Strategy

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