In the creative industries, a brief is essentially an outline of the work that needs to be done on a project. They are drawn up in agreement with a client and are used as a guide by everyone working on the project.
What are briefs
The client brief is a document that is brought to an agency by a client. The document will usually be pretty detailed explanation of what the client wants. It will often include other materials that the client thinks may be helpful to the agency, such as recent research. The agency will use this, picking out all the important things, to write their own, simpler and more effective brief (at which point th client brief is as good as discarded).
Agency brief (creative/design/media)
The client’s problem is then distilled into an agency brief (most often referred to as a creative brief although you may also hear it called a design brief or media brief depending on where you are).
This brief will often cover a lot of strategic ground with decisions on the theme of the messaging and how to target the audience being made at this point. In an advertising agency, writing creative briefs is a key part of a planners role.