When you’re working with anyone on a project, it’s important to explain what you hope to achieve and what you want the end deliverable to look like. This is especially true if your credit union works with a marketing or advertising agency. An input document and creative brief are often used to inform an agency about what you want them to create. Sending an agency a complete and informative document sets the stage for what you will receive in return. A strong input doc is rooted in three basic principles: be clear about what is needed, provide the information necessary to complete the task and inspire the team to do its best. But how do you write a document that follows all three? Let’s dig deeper.

Clarity

When you’re explaining the project to your agency, you’ll want to be as clear and succinct as possible. List all of the details including goals and objectives, be specific and include anything you think the agency will need to know to complete the assignment. Also, open up the discussion for questions to further clarify expectations. Your agency won’t be able to read your mind, so try to be as clear as possible.

Information

Your credit union’s input document should include all of the information that is of utmost importance. ” What is the problem you’re looking to improve? Who is the target audience? What tone and type of imagery should be used? What message and data points should be addressed? How will the message be communicated? What action should people take after seeing the ad? What are the key due dates? What’s the budget? Sure, it’s a lot to think about, but these answers will help ensure that the project goes smoothly.

Inspiration

A good input doc includes all of the pertinent information. A great one, however, goes above and beyond by inspiring the agency to produce exceptional work.If you have great ideas, share them in a creative brief. If you’ve seen a similar ad that you love, send it over. Is there a quote or image that illustrates the feeling you’re trying to convey? Let ‘em have it. By injecting inspiration and providing an example of what you like (or don’t like), you’ll see better results.

Takeaway

A strong input document can lead to better work and — just as importantly —  save your credit union time and money.