Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Pandora - Post No Bills

The following is a bit of a whine so skip it unless you want your IQ to drop a couple.

We all like money. I like it. You like it. Don't lie. So I know that the very awesome Pandora music player also likes it. But, dammit, stop interrupting my music with Smelly Dove Body Wash ads. I'm done with it.

I am so in love with you, Pandora, and now all these ads started getting between us. You play awesome music and then all the sudden I am being told to smell better (peachy or kiwi-ish, no less.)

I know, I know nothing good comes for free, but what about our love, Pandora? Our mutual love of beautiful music. You even introduce me to new and beautiful music! Who thought life could be so sweet. I was raised on Napster -- when it was FREE -- and then was made to feel like a criminal when record companies started suing middle-schoolers for having too much ripped Metallica.

Isn't it enough that you have a little ad on the side? It doesn't interrupt anything and I see it there. I'll click it if I'm interested.

When all is said and done, I will still listen to you, though. If you haven't checked it out, yet, here ya go: Believe me, it's worth it. It's like being a really lazy radio DJ.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Letters To A Young Copywriter

Dear Susie,

I was pleased to receive your letter. I can see why you might be attracted to Copywriting and I will share with you how and why I got into the business.

First, I am passionate about language. Second, it is fun to use big words that your "normal" friends don't know. Saying words like "vicissitude" sends your normie friends into a fury because they feel dumber than you. Copywriters, as a rule, are superior to those around them. Remember that.

If you are not incredibly good looking, give up your dream now. I mean, model good-looking.

We tend to be deeper than most. Start feeling your feelings if you haven't already.

Now about this business of breaking into Copywriting. How do you do it? You fight. You knock on doors. No, kick down doors. You call up strangers. Be everywhere. Have "Eye Of The Tiger" playing in your mind always.

My final (and unoriginal - check out Writing Down The Bones) thought is this: when you get to second grade start telling people that's what you do. You write. You are a writer. Be a stubborn little bastard about it. That is what you do, that is your profession. They will doubt you, Susie. They will say, "Emily, stop robbing convenient stores..." Er, wait. They will say, "You're only 7 years old, you can't be a writer and here's why your short story sucks." Then you kick them in sweet spot and run. Run like lightning, grab your pen, and write like you got somethin' to prove.

I hope this helps, young one. Keep it real.

Yours In Pen,

Emily, the Philly Wordsmith

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Letters To A Young Copywriter

In the true style of "Dear Abby," I bring you the following....

Dear Philly Wordsmith,

My name is Susie. I am 5 years old and I think I am your biggest fan. I also have blonde pig-tails. Aren't I adorable? Do you think wearing my hair in pig-tails will give me swine flu?

Anyhow, the reason I'm writing is because it is my dream to become a brilliant Web Copywriter like yourself. I also want to be as beautiful and talented on guitar as you are, but mostly a brilliant Copywriter. How do I do it?

With Cutie-Pieness,

Stay tuned for my response...

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

4 Points From "Breaking Boundaries"

Last night, I attended PRSSA's "Breaking Boundaries: The Revolution of Social Media." The event was a success. Thank you to panelists and moderator: @jerseycoach, @gloriabell, @blankbaby, @k8teshields, @podcaststeve, @conversationage, and @gloriabell. Here's what I learned.

1 - The principle of paying it forward. Thanks to Gloria and Moderator, Rick Alcantara, for bringing this up. The way to attract people in the virtual social world is the same as in the real world. Be kind, generous, and pass things along.

2 - Valeria Maltoni and Kate Shields brought up and emphasized the fact that people trust their peers more than they trust marketers. That fact probably explains why Social Networking sites are the most popular and visited sites. It also explains why a user-generated site like is visited more often than any other travel site.

3 - Panelist Steven Lubetkin reminded us that customers are actively looking for our product online. Social Networking makes it easy for marketers to tap into communities that already want our product.

4 - Right off the bat, Scott McNulty made the point that Social Media is two-way. Don't do just all listening or all talking. Do a bit of both.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

How Facebook Has Made Me A Better Copywriter

When you write on your personal Facebook Wall it is like writing a personal headline for that day (or week, or minute.) Your friends seem to respond to some more than others. Ever notice that? So, I set out to see if there are some common themes in the Wall posts or "headlines" that get the most attention. Because if I can figure out which headlines cause people to take action by responding to my post, then that will help me figure out what headlines will cause customers to take action in general - which is the goal of copywriting.

Four common themes:

1 - Something sexy. Not too sexy because we don't want to get into T.M.I. territory here, but an interesting substory to my personal story is my romantic life.

2 - Things that make people jealous. I posted that I was going to the beach on a Monday and people really responded.

3 - Humorous things. This is probably #1. Any time I write something funny, I get sooo many responses. Either people saying a simple 'ha!' or people trying to be even funnier or add to the funny.

4 - Mention love for something others already know about. This includes bands, celebrities, coffee drinks, etc. If they also like that product (or if they hate it) they respond.

If you've noticed some common take action themes, please leave them as a comment. I'm sure there are many more!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Project H.O.M.E. Writing Group's First Meeting

Thanks to Richard, Julie, Shirley, Renee, and Troy for making our first meeting a great success.

We talked about what we wanted to do with the group. Then we did some writing exercises and shared our work. In the spirit of Joe Brainard, the first exercise was beginning each sentence with the phrase, "I remember." Then, for fun, we played with alliteration.

Unfortunately, due to the residents' schedule consistency will be a challenge, but I think we can meet it.

Anybody have any ideas for writing exercises we could use next time?

I think next week I'll post our writings and we will receive Julie's first submission for group feedback. So stay tuned!