Need a Simple Communications Plan, Simple Creative Brief and Simple Audience Chart?

simple-creative-briefNeed a Simple Communications Plan for your Marketing Campaign? How about a Simple Creative Brief to go with it? Maybe even a Simple Audience Chart to figure out what you are going to say via your simple tactic.

I used to not do this. In my past, I just simply overdid it. I would forget the KISS principle and build massive documents (strategic plans, communication plans, creative briefs) that could have been made into small novels and no one could comprehend. Then I would wonder why my ideas fell on deaf ears.

simple-marketing-inventory-rolloutBeing here at the university for just over a year, I’ve decide to cut down the amount of marketing terms, charts, powerpoints and pitches. I just want to make it simple for my clients to understand. I wish I would have done this years ago.

So here are a few charts that I think can help you. A couple of them I “borrowed” from friends here at the university. Like Joyce Lantz in Admissions. She’s a smart cookie so I took her Simple Communications Plan and made it into my own. It’s so easy to follow.

And the Simple Sample Creative Brief is my own but cut way down from the original. Most of my old creative briefs started with five pages of marketing terms and stats. Now, it’s a one pager and people get it. And guess what, they are quicker to sign it so we can get going on the project.

Finally, we have a few more tools available to you. I’ve also included an Audience Chart made by our own VP of Marketing Todd Woodward. This is great for figuring out what you want to say the audience by figuring out what you want them to do. Now, that’s important. Most people start talking to people before figuring out what you want them to do for you.

So how do you use them together?simple-audience-chart

  1. Use the Simple Audience Chart.
  2. Figure out the tactics you will want to use (you know, like your website, email newsletters, social media, flyers, advertising, etc…).
  3. Use the Simple Creative Brief to define the tactics.
  4. Use the Simple Communication Plan to define when you want to use the tactics.

When you put this all together, you’ve basically built your Marketing Strategy and Campaign.

Now, I have a lot of friends that will probably debate me on this but really for a small enterprise like a department, institute, club or center. This is pretty good. You can always make it more complicated and bigger later.

And this is not what I would use for a large School or for my beloved University of Notre Dame master brand.

So download and have fun. Give me some feedback of what worked for you and what didn’t.

If you want to share your favorite marketing spreadsheets and document templates, please do so. I may adopt them and write about how great you are.


  1. To answer your questions… yes, yes, and yes! These are great, Don!

    I used to have a simple job tracking document; I called it The Hot Sheet (THS). If anyone asked me anything about the status of job, I could have the answer in seconds. It also uncluttered my mind, allowing me to focus on writing, rather than worrying if I was forgetting this or that. You’ve inspired me to bring the THS to ND!

  2. These ROCK !!!! I had a project thrown to me yesterday and have a 2 day turnaround on it…… this will totally help me make my deadline !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Keep it coming Marketing Man !!!!!!

  3. These are great! and Mike, I’d love to see THS. As you guys know, I’m a forms person and would die without my forms for style guide, site maps, and web strategies/goals!

    Thanks, guys!

  4. Jenn Lechtanski Avatar
    Jenn Lechtanski

    Very helpful. Thank you Don.

  5. These are useful for me to learn something about Marketing
    Thank you very much Don Schindler
    I’ll read your others writings

  6. This is really helpful stuff, simple but effective. It would be great to get a bigger pic of the audience chart though as I can’t see what the headings etc are on it. Would be much apprecaited if you could email one to me please?

    Many thanks


  7. I am not sure where you are getting your info, but good topic.
    I needs to spend some time learning much more or understanding more.

    Thanks for excellent info I was looking for this info for my mission.

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