Gone are the days of the 20-page briefing book

The Briefing Book is DEAD.

It boggles my mind how some clients still request pages and pages of information for a briefing BOOK. Yup, an actual book containing masses of information which will either not be read by the spokesperson, or worse, is read and scares the hell out of them.

20 pages of copy to take in before a media interview would put the fear into anyone, no matter at what level they sit, how long they have to prepare, or how much media training they have received. Sometimes too much information is exactly that, too much information.

The premise behind a briefing is that it should be helpful, and to be helpful it must be concise. Briefings are put together to help the interviewee understand the journalist they are chatting to, the market that journalist is reporting to, and to make sure the right information is delivered in the best way possible.

The ideal briefing SHEET is a one page snapshot with the most pertinent information, including the date, time and venue of the interview, journalist and media profiles, the angle, the key pitch points made when securing the interview, key messages and the objective of the interview. Anything more than this key information and you start to confuse the topic and the spokesperson.

When you start trying to cover every single base on a topic, you start moving into more complicated territory. Your spokesperson is a thought leader in his/her space, or else you shouldn't be putting them in front of the media. If they require more information, they will ask for it, but chances are that they will be happy just to have received a more digestible briefing that they can read through and get immediately.