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So far, our ‘Getting better words’ blog series has brought you tips on choosing the right writer and costing a writing project. This time we look at how to brief a writer. Everyone agrees this is the most important part of a writing project. But it doesn’t mean the briefs are always good.

Because putting together a clear brief takes time and a fair bit of work. So even though ‘garbage in’ means ‘garbage out’, many people managing writing projects rush the crucial part of it, and hope for the best. If you think of a project like sailing a yacht, a poor brief is like setting the writer off with no destination in mind, no map or compass, all the wrong clothing, and no life jacket.

Of course, there are some honourable exceptions – and a good few are among our clients, we’re happy to say. But if you want to improve your briefing, you could do worse than start by answering the ‘wh’ questions:

There’s also a lot of other stuff a writer needs to know – which is why it’s all covered in one short chapter of our new ebook, ‘The coffee-break guide to getting better words’.

We give you all the points a writing brief should address, all in a few pages. You can use it as a template and work through it methodically, knowing you haven’t left anything out. (Your writer will thank you for it, as they get where the brief asked them to go, without being blown off course, or hitting any rocks.)

You can also find out how to choose a writer, cost a writing project, judge the resulting work, and more.

Download our project-saving, career-boosting, life-enhancing ebook here.

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