Stop PROMPTING AI – We need to start BRIEFING to get the best results

Stop PROMPTING AI - We need to start BRIEFING to get the best results


In the dynamic world of marketing and communication, a detailed and well-crafted brief can be the difference between an effective and creative agency pitch and a mediocre one. Now we’re living with AI we face a similar issue. The key to unlocking AI’s true potential lies not in prompting, but briefing? Let’s explore the fascinating realm of AI creativity.

Lessons from the Trenches

Early in my career, I encountered a string of lackluster pitches from creative marketing agencies. I remember after one grim morning the Marketing Director, exasperated, raised her hands and declared, “It’s not their fault. We messed up the brief.” Our strategy lacked clarity, our position was fuzzy, and our goals weren’t defined.

That was a wake-up call for me. The brief mattered more than I’d realised.

The AI Conundrum

Fast forward to today, where AI increasingly dominates conversations. Yet, despite the hype, many find AI-generated content uninspiring. It’s like ordering a vanilla latte and receiving lukewarm tap water. Disappointing, right? But when I see disappointing AI output, my mind goes back to those agency pitch meetings. The issue isn’t the AI, it’s the prompt.

The Problem with Prompts

The word “prompt” implies simplicity. It suggests that creating a few lines of instruction is child’s play. But AI isn’t a magic wand, it’s a tool. And like any tool, it needs precise instructions. That’s why we should think of prompts as briefs.

The Power of a Well-Crafted Brief

Imagine briefing an agency for a high-stakes campaign. You wouldn’t scribble a few vague sentences on a napkin and call it a day. No, you’d meticulously outline your vision, goals, and desired impact. The same applies to AI. A good brief is a roadmap to a successful campaign.

Crafting Your AI Brief

  • Details: Be thorough. Specify tone, style, and audience. Describe the emotional arc you want. Remember, AI isn’t a mind reader; it thrives on specifics.
  • Context: Provide context. Explain the backstory, your brand’s essence, and the customer problem you’re solving. Context fuels creativity.
  • Constraints: Set boundaries. Limitations spark ingenuity. Tell AI what not to do, as well as what you want it to consider.
  • CollaborationI: Think of AI as your creative partner. It’s not a mindless automaton, it’s a canvas waiting for your strokes.

The Myth of Instant Magic

If you want top quality output that stands out, your brief needs to be detailed and thorough. Just as if you were briefing an agency. A good brief might take a long time to put together. You’re not going to get it from a “10,000 ChatGPT Prompts R-US”.


So, let’s retire the word “prompt.” Instead, let’s talk about “briefs.” Let’s elevate our expectations and demand brilliance. Because when AI meets a stellar brief, a successful result is more likely than a mediocre one.

Next time you’re tempted to say “prompt,” pause. Take a deep breath. And remember, it’s not about the prompt, it’s about the brief.