How to write a copywriting brief that gets you the results you need

There are two kinds of copywriters out there. One type will interview you and get you really thinking about your product or service offering, your target customers, and what they really want as opposed to what you think they should buy from you.

How to brief a copywriter

Make sure the briefs you give to a copywriter result in the right content.

This leads to a marketing communications brief that is bang on target and will produce an excellent result across all media. This type of copywriter tends to be experienced, skilled, very, very good at the job, but expensive.

Many SME businesses can’t or won’t pay for this level of professionalism. To quote a very-swiftly-dumped-ex-client of mine, “HOW MUCH? Just for a little bit of wording?” [Read more…]

Does your writing get invaded by the CAPITALIZERS?

Do You Capitalise Every Word In Your Titles And Headlines?

Or do you Capitalise Only the Nouns and big Words in Titles and Headlines?

Why capital letters should not be over used

Or do you, perhaps, capitalise Common Nouns as well as Proper Nouns?

OR DO YOU WRITE LONG PASSAGES ALL IN CAPITAL LETTERS THINKING THAT READERS WILL ASSUME THEY’RE IMPORTANT AND SO PAY ATTENTION?

It’s the invasion of the CAPITALIZERS!

[Read more…]

Now for some SSSSSuccesses in English business jargon and slang…

If you spill the beans, you’d better shake a leg and sink or swim if you don’t want to go stir crazy … more fascinating origins of business and other jargon and slang in the crazy language called “English…”

English business jargon and slang, letter S

Are you as Stubborn as a mule?

Screwed, screwed up: often used as a metaphor for being damaged, or when something has happened to cause failure, e.g. “the sale of the company screwed up the engineers’ plans to create a new model of the motor.” We must assume that the term (which is officially classed as slang!) originates from the nature and usage of a screw, which is tightened by turning it around on its thread until it has fastened something. There are various other slang terms that use the word “screw,” and most of them are vulgarisms connected with action of “screwing” which, of course, also can be used as a euphemism for the sex act. However there are more innocent usages of the word, e.g. “to screw up a sheet of paper” meaning to crumple it up in your hand ready to throw away.

See eye-to-eye: this term has its origins in the Christian Bible, and its meaning hasn’t changed in the meantime… [Read more…]

Rolling the RRRs of English business jargon and slang…

Do you rock when you rise and shine, or does someone have to reach out and railroad you? More of our ridiculous language’s jargon and slang, for business and beyond.

Jargon and slang used for business in English

Do you Rock when you Rock a fashionable outfit?

Railroad: to force, or at least to press, a project or process through to rapid completion, often without proper concern for people and places that might be adversely affected by it. The term is thought to originate from the days in the 19th century when railroads (railways) were being built at speed in many countries.

Raincheck: a postponement due to unforeseen circumstances. This word – sometimes shown as two words – comes from the USA and was used when a baseball game had to be called off due to bad weather… [Read more…]

Why not Why Not? DIY marketing comms quick tip…

In DIY – usually local – advertising you often see a line that says, “Why not check us out / come to see us / try our product or service /” etc.

Back in the dark ages (well, in the late 20th century advertising days) we copywriting students were told never to use a line like that.

Why it's not right to ask "why not."

Why asking customers “why not” can turn them against what you’re offering

Why? Mainly because it’s too easy for a reader (or video viewer) to think and come back with something like “Because I don’t bloody-well feel like it, that’s why.”

Don’t present readers with a challenge in your writing

[Read more…]

The difference between writing and wording: a guide for stupid penny-pinchers

Now that it’s so easy to do your own marketing online, the value of soft-skills professionals has come into question. Welcome to the Idiot’s Guide to p*ss-poor approaches as in the following…

  • Who needs to pay professional videographers, for example, when you can shoot a perfectly acceptably sales video on your IPhone (never mind that brilliant video camera you can buy for for little or nothing from Amazon) and edit it up a bit on your Mac – upload to YouTube and/or your website, and bingo?
  • Who needs to pay professional photographers to shoot images of your new product or service when your cellphone works just as well and costs nothing?
  • Who needs to use professional graphic designers when you have a world of free art out there you can use to put almost any requirement together?
  • And who needs to use a professional writer to do just “a little bit of wording” for your website or brochure?
Why cheap creative marketing resources are a piss-poor investment

How clever is it for ignorant businesses to sneer at professionals in writing, design, web development and other marketing areas of expertise?

Technology offers many things, but it can’t provide unique human talent. Yet this is being denigrated and cheapened in parallel with the techno-cheapening of everything else.

[Read more…]

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