Briefing paper produced for an organisation on a proposal for an aspect of Wine Marketing

Examples might include:

i?? A supermarket strategy for expanding its store retail wine offer
i?? A vineyardi??s strategy for marketing its products
i?? A tourist destinationi??s strategy for attracting more wine tourists
i?? An online retail strategy for a new start-up business
i?? A restaurant/ hospitality strategy for a revised wine offer

Structure
i?? logical organisation of work with purpose, tailored to your outlined title. Introduction and conclusions should be clearly identified. (20%)
i?? The report should show clear evidence of secondary research into the key relevant wine topics, markets and influences. (20%)
i?? All sources should be effectively analysed creating a
rigorous narrative that helps to inform the reader on the merits of the briefing paper in supporting any subsequent proposals. (50%)
i?? Communication and presentation i?? remember to word process, spell check, re-read and reference correctly for clarity and to guide the reader through your thoughts. (10%)

Added on 16.01.2015 19:48
What features do good Briefing Papers have?

There is a great art to writing Briefings. They are central to any decision-making situation. A good Briefing should make the decision-making process better. To help us all improve and constantly refine our skills in this area, this Note covers:
o Common features: to identify characteristics which make a good Briefing.
o Content, headings and sections: to give some basic main headings which help order the writing.
o Style: to pull out some choices and issues which can make or mar a good Briefing.

1. COMMON FEATURES

Good Briefing Papers share the following features. They:

o provide good summaries at the start.
o are easy to read [think of this Briefing providing everything that a busy person who wants to know what the situation is would be given.]
o are low key and i??factuali?? in their style.
o are tailored to the needs of the person or organisation for whom they are being written.
o give an overview of the situation: the problem, the policies, the context / background.
o are up-to-date (there is little point in briefing an organisation about sources from 10 years ago without summarising what has happened since).
o critically assess that situation and the area(s) being reviewed.
o may give some likely futures, and certainly show some appreciation that events unfold in different ways and directions.
o are honest about the difficulties and uncertainties.
o provide options for decision-makers.
o give pointers as to where to go if more information / detail is required.
o give key excerpts / facts / sources / references.

2. CONTENT, HEADINGS AND SECTIONS

Title page
This should provide details of:
o the marketing theme you are writing about
o the organisation you are writing the briefing for

Contents List
Contents list: this is optional. Some Briefings do, others do not. If you provide one, you must give the page numbers for each section. (The MS Word programme has a facility for generating contents and page numbers, which I find very useful. You can find it under i??Inserti??, then i??Referencei??, then i??Index and Tablesi??.)

Summary
1 page ideally or even half a page. At the absolute maximum 1 page. This should provide:
o a very short summary
o your analysis / critical assessment
o your recommendations to the organisation for whom you have written the Briefing,

[Think about what a really busy person would want: the essentials that can be read in about 2-3 minutes, and then, if they want to know more, they would get more detail on by reading the whole of your Briefing Paper. Remember that the use of the English word i??briefi?? in a Briefing Paper uses the word i??briefi?? in two senses: (1) brief meaning i??shorti?? and succinct; and (2) i??briefi?? in the sense that lawyers get given a i??briefi??; this is a clear i??direction of traveli?? of the task ahead but which summarise a situation, the evidence and points to the tasks ahead.]

The document:
Here tell the reader about the document and its context:
o the background: why done
o the context from which it comes.
o its position / core arguments.
o its key findings + any key i??killeri?? facts and issues.
o its recommendations.

Your assessment of the suggested strategies:
o Its impact and effectiveness: will it make / has it made a difference? To whom?
o Have there been any developments since your sources were published? And any reactions?

How this affects the organisation
o Does the document you are writing change the situation, analysis and working of the organisation for which you are writing the Briefing Paper.
o Who is affected?
o What is your analysis of how things are now?

Options for action:
o What options does your organisation have in the wake of the research conducted?
o How feasible are these? (e.g. have you the funds? Be realistic).

Your recommendations:
Given the above:
o What do you think your organisation should do?
o Who should be responsible for subsequent actions within your organisation?
o Is this position feasible?
o What difficulties, opposition & barriers lie ahead?
o What timing / schedule for actions do you envisage?

Appendices
Here put any important excerpts or source material without which the Briefing Paper would be incomplete.

References
Here is the only unrealistic bit of this exercise. In a real Briefing Paper, it is unlikely you would use Harvard referencing! (You would be more likely to use footnotes or numbered notes.) But we insist on Harvard.

3. STYLE

There are many different formats and style for Briefing Papers. Some are more dense; others are more light to read. Please look at different ones e.g. Oxfam/ Soil Association example. But they all:
o have page numbers
o use headings
o have no spelling mistakes!
o are grammatical!
o are meticulously sourced (ie the reader knows where data/arguments come from)
o are well presented with good printing / typography and no i??messinessi??

You can choose whether to use:
o tables and graphics. If you do (and they do lighten text), they must be appropriate, not just for visual lightening. If you cut & paste make sure it is well done, i.e. is visible.
o bullet points and / or numbering. They can be helpful but are not essential.