An editorial brief is a document used to provide guidance and instruction to a writer when crafting content for an editorial project. It contains all the necessary information about the topic and desired tone, style, length, format, and audience. It also includes the desired outcome and evaluation criteria for the finished work, such as accuracy and quality. An editorial brief should be clear and comprehensive, providing explicit direction and expectations.
Creating an effective editorial brief starts by determining the purpose and goal of the content project. After the purpose is established, the writer can then define the audience and desired tone, style, and length of the content. This will help the writer build a framework for the project. It is also important to decide on any relevant deadlines, as this will help the writer properly plan their work.
Some other key considerations when creating an editorial brief involve:
• Voice: Who is the content speaking to? Is it friendly, professional, or conversational? Is it authoritative or humorous?
• Tone: Is the content lighthearted or serious? Is it educational or entertaining?
• Format: What format is desired for the finished product? Will it be written, audio, or video?
• Keywords: Are there any important keywords or phrases that should be included?
• Key messages: Are there any key messages that the content must convey?
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• Desired outcome: What is the desired outcome from this content project?
• Evaluation criteria: How will the content’s success be evaluated?
Once all of these items are determined, the writer can create a document that contains all the necessary information for them to begin their work. This document is known as an editorial brief.
An editorial brief is similar to a project brief, as it provides instructions and guidance for the writer. However, it differs in that it is more specific to the editorial content. An effective editorial brief should provide clear instruction and expectations while leaving space for creativity and insight. In other words, it provides a framework for the content but allows for the writer to express their own ideas, style, and voice.
One of the most important aspects of an editorial brief is that it should be tailored to the individual project and writer. A one-size-fits-all editorial brief won't help the writer create an effective and tailored piece of content—the brief should be specific to the project and the writer's particular style and strengths.
When creating an editorial brief, it is also important to consider the intended use and purpose of the content. This will help determine the format and length of the project, as well as the specific topics and themes that should be addressed.
Additionally, the brief should include any important deadlines, as well as any additional materials that the writer may need in order to complete the project. This could include links to documents, images, and audio files.