What Is a Briefing Note?
However, their ability to do so depends on the quality of writing and, in particular, how concisely information is put forward. In government extremely complex information often has to be communicated quickly and effectively up the decision-making chain.
The purpose of briefing notes Briefing notes can be used for a wide variety of purposes.
Ultimately the exact content should match the reason that someone would want to read the note. A few examples are: Which concisely present information around a particular policy issue, and a series of options for decision makers to choose from; Information Notes: Which provide high-level information on a particular policy, program, or area of government; Issues Notes: Which provide high-level summaries of particular issues that have emerged that the reader will have to know about; House Notes: Which provide a combination of information for Ministers speaking about particular issues in the legislature.
These can overlap — decision notes will necessarily have some of the same information as issues or information notes, and so on. The important thing is to ask why a particular briefing note has been requested, and to tailor contents accordingly.
Content Most briefing notes include the following sections: The title should be positioned at the top, bolded, and at a glance describe the note for the reader.
A section with bullet points providing the highest-level summary of the issue possible. What contextual information is necessary that the reader might now know? Content will depend on the note, but could include: Who is involved; When it is being done; The government response; The history of the issue; What the public thinks.
Above all, everything included should be factual, simple, and relevant. Consider whether the reader would need to know any particular piece of information.
Is there an extremely important statistic or quote that would assist them? If so this should be included in a prominent position. Some ministries or departments will have templates, particularly for keeping track of who authored briefing notes, and where they came from.Include the name of who you’re writing the briefing document for, the current date and the subject of the briefing note at the top.
Many briefing notes start off with a “Purpose” section, which is used to identify the reason for the note. Briefings, whether in the form of briefing notes, longer briefing papers, or oral briefings, are used to keep decision makers informed about the issues they are responsible for.
In government, briefings are the principal means of communication between government managers and their ministers (or other senior officials). A brief should be brief!
Overly long or cumbersome briefs are not very helpful because you will not be able to skim them easily when you review your notes or when the professor drills you. On the other hand, a brief that is too short will be equally unhelpful because it lacks sufficient information to .
Write a conclusion for the briefing paper: in a brief sentence, try to summarize the issue, the analysis of the issue and your recommendations in the how to write a briefing paper How to write a briefing paper: Formatting and its characteristics.
Writing a Briefing Document. Here are some tips for writing a briefing document that should be followed in order to ensure that the information is presented in the correct manner. Create structure - Your briefing document should be written in a structured format.
This purpose of this note is to present public sector writing practices for briefing notes. The focus is on both style and context. Although style and technique are important when writing for public sector audiences, it is an appreciation of the context that will distinguish you as a writer of superior briefing notes.