Briefing process – self assessment

Three key areas to think about

 

There are several components to an effective IC brief.  But there are three critical areas about which most IC Specialists have common blind-spots.  These relate to:

  1. Outcomes
  2. Audiences
  3. Content

If your briefing process is going to be DFVP, you need to be sure it’s taking care of these blind-spots.  Scroll down to assess how fit your  process is…

  1. Outcomes

A. The common blind-spot

Just because people use the term ‘outcome’ doesn’t mean what they identify is valid. 

Over the years we have teased out no fewer than 10 different types of ‘Phantom Outcome’. 

These fool people into thinking they’ve identified what’s needed from the communication when in fact they haven’t.  

B. The consequences

Without a valid outcome it’s impossible to accurately define anything else with justifiable confidence: audiences, content, channels, deadlines, or budget.  As a result:

  • production may be slowed down,
  • budget may be wasted
  • tempers may fray
  • people’s confidence may take a hit
  • the communications may not deliver the best results.   

Of course you may get lucky.  But why trust to luck?

C. The self-assessment

Does your current briefing process explicitly support your IC Specialists and their clients to identify phantom outcomes?  

If someone stumbles into a phantom outcome, does your process provide a sequence of clear questions to help clients navigate to a valid outcome?

Find the solution here

2. Audiences

A. The common blind-spot

Most people are familiar with the experience of reading something and, half way through, starting to think:

“Hang on.  Is this talking to me, or to someone else?  It feels like it’s for someone else, even though I first thought it was meant for me.”

And what do you do when that happens?  Probably ditch it and move on.  Most people do.  But what makes you switch off like that?  It’s something called a ‘Detached Observer Trigger’. 

There are six linguistic triggers, but also one hidden inside the briefing process.

B. The consequences

When employees are switched off by Detached Observer Triggers their usual response is to ditch the communication and move on.  

So the communication will have failed to produce the outcome it needed from those employees.  And chances are they’ll swear blind they were never told about it.  

The upshot is poorer performance and unhappy employees.

C. The self-assessment

Does your briefing process include a method for identifying audiences with the necessary precision  to guarantee everyone who receives the communication will always be feeling:

“This is talking to me.”…

…from beginning to end?

Find the solution here

3.Content

A. The common blind-spot

To deliver outcomes from any business  communication, an audience will need a number of resources.  

With external communications, almost all those resources are completely in the hands of the audience. 

With internal communications, they’re almost entirely in the gift of the employer.

B. The consequences

If employees don’t have all the SMARTIED resources they need, they will not deliver the outcomes (at least not reliably) no matter how good the communications.

So employee performance and engagement can suffer.  And  internal communications can end up getting blamed for things which aren’t internal communication problems.

C. The self-assessment

Does your briefing process include a method for explicitly teasing out any and every additional SMARTIED resource employees will need, in order for the communication’s outcome to be realised every time?

Find the solution here