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Building Equity-Centered Communications: Harnessing the Power of a Creative Brief

In the fast-paced world of communications, where information is constantly flowing and attention spans are fleeting, the pressure to respond quickly to emerging issues can sometimes lead to reactive rather than proactive, strategic communication. 

An equity-centered approach to communication involves intentional and thoughtful planning to ensure that your visual language (the look and feel of your brand) as well as the written messages align with your organization’s values and community’s goals. For organizations striving to make a lasting impact and foster meaningful connections with their audiences, adopting a proactive approach is key. One powerful tool that can help guide this process is the creative brief.

The Foundation of Effective Communication

A creative brief is more than just a document; it’s a strategic roadmap for your communications team. It is not merely a document but a guiding light that illuminates the path for both program teams and communication professionals. By establishing a strong foundation, organizations can shift from a reactive to a proactive mode, ensuring that every message is intentional, purposeful, and aligned with overarching goals.

Defining the Theme: A North Star for Creativity

At the heart of every successful communication effort lies a well-defined theme. The creative brief acts as a compass, pointing everyone involved in the communication process toward a shared destination. By clearly articulating the theme, program teams can provide communicators with valuable context, allowing them to craft messages that resonate with the intended audience. A theme serves as the North Star, guiding creativity and ensuring a consistent, cohesive narrative across all channels.

Know Your Community & Tailor Your Outreach Efforts

Identifying your audience is crucial for effective communication. An equity-centered creative brief prompts program teams to delve into the intricacies of their target audiences—their diverse perspectives, preferences, pain points, needs, and aspirations. Armed with this knowledge, communicators can tailor any communications materials that need to be created so that they not only capture attention but also resonate on a personal level. The result? A stronger connection that goes beyond superficial engagement, fostering trust and loyalty.

Clear Calls to Action

Moving beyond simple awareness, an equity-centered creative brief outlines the desired actions you want your audience to take. Whether it’s signing a petition, attending an event, or making a donation, encouraging sign-ups, or inspiring social engagement, a well-crafted brief provides communicators with the roadmap needed to guide the audience toward the intended destination. Clear calls to action transform communication from a passive exchange to an active, results-driven endeavor.

Bridging the Gap Between Teams: Collaborative Success

In any organization, program teams and communication professionals often operate in silos. A creative brief acts as a bridge, fostering collaboration and ensuring everyone is on the same page. By providing a shared understanding of the strategy, goals, and key messaging, the brief transforms communication from a series of disjointed efforts into a cohesive, and successful collaboration.

Making Your Creative Brief Accessible

Now that you understand the importance of an equity-centered creative brief, the next step is to ensure it is easily accessible and utilized by your team. Here are some suggestions:

  1. Incorporate it into Surveys: Embed your creative brief questions into pre-existing surveys. This allows your program teams to seamlessly integrate the briefing process into their workflow without adding additional steps.
  2. Utilize Notion or Similar Tools: Leverage collaborative platforms like Notion to store and share creative brief templates. These tools provide a centralized space for your team to access, update, and collaborate on briefs in real-time.
  3. Google Docs with Easy Access: For simplicity, maintain a master document in Google Docs. Ensure that there’s an easily accessible link, perhaps in a shared folder or project management tool, so team members can quickly access and duplicate the template when needed.


An equity-centered creative brief isn’t just a document; it’s a commitment to strategic, thoughtful, and inclusive communication. By investing time in creating and utilizing these briefs effectively, your organization can move from reactive to proactive communication, fostering meaningful connections with your audience.

In the pursuit of equity, communication becomes a powerful force for positive change. Embrace the creative brief as your guide, and watch as your campaigns, newsletters, social media and other communications assets resonate more deeply, driving your organization towards its goals with purpose and impact.

Photo by: Dstudio Bcn on Unsplash