Here in Stucel, we use email and instant message extensively to communicate with clients and colleagues. By working virtually i.e not face to face, clear communication is the most important thing to get it right. We all know, it’s a different thing to explain something through written if compared to live meet up. For on site meeting, body language, face expression, and voice tone will help. If sloppy, we could have been write something “offensive” to certain people in email. Especially with people who cash us to work on their project.
For example if we are in the middle of the project, I used to send project progress (less than half done) to client, although it may look very raw. But the purpose is to make sure everything is on track, no surprises.
But for some people it may look like wasting their time, they may think that they hired us to do the project done, not half done. So it’s more than enough to give some brief, then the rest is ours. Usually these people are so busy, so they expecting us to come up with something really breath-taking in the end, silently. Most of the time, that work method won’t work. Although we have a very complete brief from one client, we still need them to help us running several “guess and check”, just to make sure.
For an unclear project brief (sometimes too common, general or very short), it’s quite difficult to guess what’s exactly on the writer’s mind. I had an experience with this kind of project; the result was good for me, not for client. The project was trapped in the sea of revisions and dramatic explanations from client.
I rather juggle email conversations, ask a lot, spend more time in pre-project strategy room, make solid ground for the project. So far the statistics are great, less miss understanding.