Hey Copywriters, let's get back to our roots: ye olde pen and paper.
So, after about six hours of being hunched over my laptop, I stood up on stiff legs and bowed my head so that my neck cracked like thunderclaps. It was then that I was inspired to get back to the humble pen and paper. Not only for the practical reason of wanting to avoid some freakish, permanent damage to my spine, but also because there is something more intimate - primal, even - about holding a pen in your hand. You may say, I'm writing copy, companies don't want me to be intimate and primal. That would just be weird. My response: companies may not want it, but readers do.
Humans respond emotionally when they interact with other humans. They don't respond to robotic word lists. They will take advice from a voice quicker than just drab words. Good copywriters have the ability to give a website eyes.
Now, this art of giving website life becomes easier with a pen. Like writing in a diary. Only instead of writing about the new cute boy at school, you're writing about industrial machines or cat litter.
If the site is readable and human it becomes your helpful friend and not a brochure trying to sell you something. Don't take my word for it. Look around at the most successful websites in history and you'll notice that they act like an informative friend who happens to have exactly what you need. It's hard to say no to a friend.
So, get that pen in your hand and let your soon-to-be friends read your diary whose latest entry happens to be about car parts.
Friday, February 27, 2009
Thursday, February 26, 2009
The writing process is an interactive one. The writer is able to sit in a restaurant and let smells, sounds, and sights over take her. She is able to watch the waiters and the customers talk and laugh. Let your copywriter see, feel, and hear the heavy machinery that makes your factories loud. The job of your copy writer is to translate the smells and sights into words that create the holographic entity your customers can feel when they read your brochure or web page copy. Invite the writer to come and experience what you have to offer your customers because it will show in more vivid descriptions and better understanding of your product and company. As a writer, if I just have to imagine a flower and describe it with words, there tends to be vague adjectives or fuzzy general language. No one wants to read that. When I see a flower right in front of me, the power of smell, color, vibrancy is easy to get down on paper. Your product then becomes not just a product, but a story and an experience. Don't make your patrons have to read a boring list of adjectives for your product or service. People like stories and they like to experience so let your writer give them both.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Susanna Moore was in town today interviewing for a Professor position in the graduate creative writing program at Temple University (My Alma Mater - Go Owls!). She was positive and held an intense stare. Ms. Moore was more than happy to talk with me after her reading even though she was being whisked off like some harassed celebrity. She had a dry sense of humor and never laughed at her own effortless jokes. Long gray hair fell lightly around her shoulders as she talked about writing sex scenes and her "research" for such scenes. In a word: she was elegant.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Met with the lovely folks at the Hinge Cafe to talk about their marketing and copy needs. They have an amazing reputation for their culinary arts, but little to no reputation for their other Art House projects. How do we solve this? One of the ways: amazing copy. I'm coming up with some exciting ideas now.
Check it out: Hinge Cafe
Check it out: Hinge Cafe
Sunday, February 22, 2009
"Lonewolfing" it doesn't work. The writer/composer/artist that is out of touch with her audience is in a sad, unproductive state. Get to know the world so they may get to know you. It's OK, they will love you. So, suit up, show up and be amazed at the results.
The first and most important rule is to act like it is not your job to be at the front of the store answering phones, exchanging moneys, etc. You must act like you are doing both a/ the customer and b/ some unnamed, absent underling you are covering for, a favor.
Proper Phone Etiquette suggests that you ask the useless boyfriend you are currently on the phone with to hold on 'one goddamn minute' before sounding annoyed and exhausted at the person calling on the other line. When answering quickly say: "Can I help you?" If the person has called with an inquiry please use one (or all, if caller is persistent) of the following responses: "I don't know," "Imma ask my manager," "There is nothing I can do," or "I'll put you through to the voice mail." Your true job is to get off the phone as soon as possible so that you may return to your previous phone call with that asshole boyfriend. If the customer is especially bothersome feel free to a/ walk away or b/ curse her out and then walk away.Keep the bar set as low as possible. The last thing we as an organization need is expectations from our customers. We want them to come in hunched over, bracing for a fight. Make sure they know kindness will absolutely not be tolerated nor will it get them anywhere.
In a word, unnecessary hostility is key. You have a legacy and reputation to uphold, my new friend. Let us make the citizens of Philadelphia uncomfortable asking for help, as much as humanly possible.