Let’s hear it for the Ugly Duckling of marketing

Today we welcome my good friend and fellow scribe Stephen Church – a brilliant, naturally talented copywriter whose refreshing approach has gained many fans in our neck of the woods here in England. In this article Steve laments the way words have become the poor relation of website creativity – something I used to lament, too, when I was working as a copywriter. Over to Steve…

ugly duckling of marketing

Goodbye, ugly duckling. Hello, elegant swan.

Website words really matter – but no-one seems to care

Words. Do you remember them? Those little squiggly things, line after line, neatly laid out across the page. I’ll tell you something. They matter. They really do. [Read more…]

Writing style? What writing style?

“If any of you thinks you have your own writing style, you can leave the room now,” said the wonderful and inimitable Bill Galley, who was our senior tutor at the (then) Watford Art School Advertising Writing Course in southern England.

With his gruff voice, aggressive beard à la James Robertston Justice in the “Carry On” movies and an up-yer-nose attitude, Bill was a veteran of the 20th century Madison Avenue creative advertising era. Despite being a Brit his b*lls were more than big enough to make him heard above many of the famous types who populated the advertising industry at that time in the USA.

Writing style? What writing style?

Our beloved course tutor, Bill Galley, looked a little like James Robertson Justice from the old “Carry On” movies. His eyes weren’t quite so skewed, however…

In his latter years Bill freelanced back in London and paid the rent by teaching us little squirts how to write ads. After we graduated he became our mentor and go-to expert on anything from creative brainstorming to how to win an interview to how to cope with and mend broken hearts. We were distraught when he died; he had become like another grandfather to us all.

And we always remembered those words about not having your own writing style. [Read more…]

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…]

Business writing: what do you get when you cross a copywriter with a wordsmith?

Writers, writers, everywhere and not a name to call them (clue: they all write for business).

Business writing: what do you get when you cross a copywriter with a wordsmith?

Many of our colleagues have been playing around with ideas of what we should call ourselves given this new species we have become.

10-20 years ago, the different types of non-technical commercial writing were clearly defined and easy for everyone to understand. They all worked in comparative isolation… [Read more…]

The comma – don’t abuse its poor powers of arrest

commas,semi-colons,colons,blogging,business writing,English,marketing,business success,writing,copywriting,articles,PR,advertising,emailsDo you abuse the poor, unsuspecting, low-powered comma in your writing? Are you using it in the hope of stopping readers to focus on your next major notion, rather than as a means of separating much less critical thoughts? [Read more…]

Business writing experience: worth a bit, or pile of sh*t?

small__4612873059People snigger, with justification, when you mention “experience” – largely because experience comes in two forms: e.g. 20 years’ real  experience? Or is it really 1 year’s experience repeated 19 times?”

This applies to blogging and writing for business every bit as much as it does to any other profession. For the purposes of this article/post (Artipost? Posticle?), other professions can deal with this as they want.

But how exactly does it affect writing for business blogs and other online content? [Read more…]

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