The project launch after an agency pitch is sometimes like Christmas. Or like the first date. You check out your partner, get to know each other better, rejoice in the common ground discovered – and occasionally there are disappointments as well. For example, when the newly elected agency can not deliver on what it is supposed to do. Or because there is disagreement within the company about what the client actually wants. It is a fact: Every project, every campaign stands and falls with the input. But that input is not delivered by the input fairy.

Therefore, the turn of the year is a good time for a regular self-briefing and the question: "What are the most important goals for the new year?" For example, should we present the latest product, strengthen sales as a whole, or publicise the company's long-standing commitment to sustainability? Or just all at once? The agencies are, of course, happy to help. But before they can go and wrap it into relevant messages, it is first necessary to collect the input from the company:

  • What is our goal, what do we want to achieve?
  • Which target group do we want to reach?
  • What challenges do we have to overcome?
  • What do we do to achieve this?

Also, before the tasks are assigned to individual departments or external agencies, it is worth taking stock first:

  • Internal: Have there been changes in positioning, communication, new hires or even a change of leadership? What worked well – and what did not?
  • Concerning the competition: Is the company still the market leader or is it in second or third place? Where do we stand – and where do we want to go to?
  • Regarding products: What are currently our bestsellers, what are their most important purchasing arguments and customer benefits? Does the company still sell rubber boots or already mobile phones?
  • And otherwise? What are the employees talking about at the water cooler?

Crucial to every good briefing are trust and openness, full disclosure of all the facts, and one’s expectations for the future. Agencies are always extremely interested, because this information is essential to designing successful PR campaigns for a pitch, as well as for a successful long-term cooperation. And last, but not least, such briefings are an invaluable tool for knowledge management within the company. Because there will be at least one employee every year who says, "Oh, I didn't know that!" And sometimes you get to know each other in a whole new way – and fall in love again. Merry Christmas!