The number-one piece of advice for a successful project: Plan it!
An annual (or semester-long) calendar of projects allows all groups to plan so that work is initiated in time to be completed thoughtfully and by deadline.
Developing a relatively simple printed piece requires about eight weeks from project initiation to release; a more complex piece requires about 10 weeks.
Sample: Timeline for smaller project
A planning session kicks off each individual project—the project owner is responsible for initiating the project in a timely fashion by developing a creative brief and calling the planning session.
- Provide creative brief a few days earlier to prompt conversation.
- Bring samples, if you have any, of other “like” communications that you think particularly effective.
- Everyone involved in project development should be seeded on all efforts.
A planning session should conclude many projects: Everyone involved should be updated on response information.
The purpose of the creative brief is to create more effective and strategic communications more efficiently.
The brief is about developing strategy before taking action:
- It establishes a communication’s goal.
- By asking a few pointed questions, the brief helps focus attention in the direction needed to achieve the goal.
Functioning like a roadmap, the brief also streamlines the process of developing communications. Following the brief:
- Keeps the execution on track.
- Ensures mutual understanding among team members.
The Wellesley brief initiates virtually all projects. It must be signed off on by all “decision makers,” be of use to C&PA, and will serve as arbiter for resolving the rare conflict.