Copywriters. What are they? What do they do? Do they sneak around peering over shoulders to plagiarise the written work of others? Do they protect products and your profits by patenting ideas?
Such is the mystery of the enigmatic copywriter.
But wonder no more, as I shall reveal all. I know… you’re relieved, aren’t you?
1. Copywriters write, right!
Copywriters don’t go around plagiarising (that’s just copying). Copywriters don’t have much to do with legalities around ownership of intellectual property (that’s copyrighters).
What we do do (tee-hee) is words. Single words. Long, epic text. We work with businesses, some small, others not so small, to produce writing for every readable item associated with that business.
The website, a brochure, that funny Tweet, the strapline on the logo, the signage, a blog, a press release, the teeny tiny micro-copy on that packaging….all most likely written by a copywriter.
2. There’s no ‘i’ in team, but there is one in copywriter
Whether we’re in-house, agency based or freelance, copywriters are rarely a lonely breed. Working with design teams and creative directors, copywriters will craft and contribute to advertising campaigns. Or, working with web designers or a marketing team to create persuasive or branded copy. Even when working remotely, there are helpful communities out there to offer support from #copywritersunite and One Minute Briefs on Twitter, to Copywriting Club organised by the DMA, you can go out, meet and actually touch (with their consent) real, live copywriters and chat about all things wordy. Not to mention the Professional Copywriter’s Network who offer endless support, resource and encouragement to copywriters from all over the place.
3. We come in many shapes and forms
From instruction booklets to adverts on the tube, copywriters can do it all. But some are better than others at certain things. Technical specialists pay close attention to detail, spending most their time researching their topic and then producing a polished, professional document, helping to make sense of complex ideas, products and services whilst ensuring it is interesting.
Creative copywriters play about with words to make the biggest impact on an audience. Attracting attention and engaging the reader, usually to entertain you into buying a product or take a course of action.
Some specialise in certain areas, healthcare, fitness, lifestyle, honing their expertise. Others are generalists, retaining large and varied amounts of facts and information about stuff and gubbins that will usually come in handy at the next pub quiz.
4. We’re a funny bunch
Depending on the tone of voice required by the business, you can usually spot a copywriter who’s really enjoyed their job. Being given a brief that allows you free reign with creativity, copywriters will work in humour and personality at any given opportunity. The Monty the Penguin twitter account hosted by John Lewis, but manned by a copywriter, almost bursts with enjoyment as the writer forms an identity and a story for the fictional (sorry!) penguin. Because essentially that’s what we are. We’re storytellers, writers who want to entertain, amuse and tug at those emotions, so that you remember how we made you feel when you thought about buying that watch or that lawnmower (ahh, the nostalgia of endless summer days, the smell of freshly cut grass…).
So, now you can sleep tonight. The worries and questions about copywriters that have burned inside and kept you awake at night all answered….or are they?