7 things you should expect from good business copywriters

Monday 15th December 2014   by Andy Comber

copywriting

Successful businesses employ professional copywriters, as in-house staff, as consultants, or as a service provided by marketing agencies.

They know that, in this highly competitive, fast-moving, digital world, it is vital that they get their message across quickly, clearly and in a compelling way.

So, if you are looking to commission a copywriter for a marketing project, what should you look for?

Here’s seven clues that will lead you to a good business copywriter.

1. They should have a head for business. You want a copywriter who quickly understands your business objectives and what your marketing campaign is seeking to achieve. Creativity is important, but so is producing copy that serves a purpose.

2. They can explain complicated things simply. Getting down to the essence of what’s important is a neat trick, which good business copywriters can pull off. You only have seconds to engage and win over potential new customers. Confusing them is not an option.

3. They can tell your story. Almost all copywriting uses story telling techniques to convince the reader, listener or viewer that this product or service is for them. Stories help you build an emotional bond with your customer. So they care, and come back for more.

4. They will give you good ideas. You may have a firm idea about how your marketing campaign should work for you. Good business copywriters should be creative and experienced enough to add suggestions of their own, to make it even better.

5. They should get it right first time. Well, nearly. You should be impressed with a professional copywriter’s first draft. You should be saying: yep, they understand what we need. If a bit of polish is required, it shouldn’t take too long to apply.

6. They should be able to write fast and accurately. If you need copy quickly, good business copywriters should be able to write it quickly. Months spent in a lonely garret pondering the meaning of a word won’t cut it, unfortunately.

7. They should be able to write in different styles. Need something businesslike and sombre? Here’s what you need. Want something chatty and upbeat? You’ve got it. What about a Sun-style quick-fire media release? It’s done – and what a corker!!!

So, if you care about your brand, use a professional  business copywriter. And test their mettle against the points above. You shouldn’t go wrong.

Good PR companies in Shropshire – Matt suggests you try us

Monday 20th May 2013   by Andy Comber

It’s really nice when someone says they like what you do. It’s even better when that someone is a client. Matt Breakwell at Cornbrook Construction has kindly provided us with a testimonial for the public relations support matm is providing.

We’re really chuffed with what he has to say. We’ve been working hard to get Cornbrook good positive press coverage. We’ve also been doing a lot of web content writing, press photography, writing case studies and revising customer letters.

Let’s face it, if the business is as dynamic, successful, ambitious and good as Cornbrook Construction, there’s always a lot to do. A public relations service doesn’t just involved writing highly effective press releases (though that’s important).

As Matt knows, good PR is about doing lots of different things – professional copywriting, video production, SEO web copywriting, sales brochures – that work together to enhance a business’s reputation and win new customers.

There’s even a new buzz phrase for it: content marketing.

Thank you for your kind words, Matt:

Good PR companies in Shropshire

matm provides excellent public relations support for Cornbrook Construction.

We only want to spend our marketing budget on activities that are targeted and we know will make a difference to our business, which is why we are happy to recommend matm’s PR services.

We get the right kind of media coverage in the right kind of publications. We get excellent copywriting support, both for sales promotion material and web content, and marketing advice, exactly when we need it, which usually means at a moment’s notice.

I can also rely on Andy at matm to get on with managing our PR requirements, allowing me to concentrate on running the business. matm’s PR service is cost-effective and delivers results. We know it is helping us win new business, and that’s what counts.

Matt Breakwell, Managing Director, Cornbrook Construction

Old Abe’s lessons on professional copywriting and communication

Sunday 14th April 2013   by Andy Comber

I’m in the middle of reading Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin, the book upon which Steven Spielberg based his film Lincoln. It is an excellence journey through a 50 year period during which the modern United States and a future super-power was born.

The book describes how Abraham Lincoln was selected as the presidential candidate for the new Republican Party, then invited three rival politicians he’d just beaten in the race for the nomination to become cabinet members to create a broad church political alliance as the northern Union faced the Confederate South in the Civil War.

Abraham Lincoln - a brilliant communicator

Lincoln comes across as an extraordinary man: kind, humorous, self-effacing and generous of spirit to rivals and subordinates – yet hugely ambitious, calculating and single-minded in his approach to personal achievement and doing what he believed needed to be done to protect the nation’s interests. What is clear, is that one of the strands of Lincoln’s political genius was his communication skills. So here’s my view of some of them:

Story telling. Lincoln was known throughout his life, from childhood onwards, as a great storyteller. He always had an anecdote to tell to make a telling point and win an argument. He had the knack of being able to explain complex thoughts in simple terms, through telling a story that illuminated the point he wanted to get across. He also used simple, memorable language that caught the imagination. It’s no surprise his favourate playwright was Shakespeare.

Humour. Lincoln was a great joke teller and enjoyed making other people laugh. But often, he used humour to make vital political points. Also, he appeared not to use humour as a weapon, but to disarm critics and bring people onto his side.

Timing. Lincoln perfected the art of knowing when to make a point and when to stay silent, even when others around him were clamouring for him to get stuck in to a political argument. He showed a keen sense of when and where to say the right thing, for maximum effect. In politics this is vital. For example, when he announced that slaves would be emancipated, he achieved cricital acclaim, but said that, if he had made the same announcement six months before, he would have been lambasted and problably thrown out of office.

Audience. Lincoln was acutely aware of when to say what to whom. Many times, the audience he was giving a speech to was not the audiece he was actually trying to influence. He was also acutely aware of the power of the media and the need to take account of their prejudices and agendas, as much as his political rivals and public mood.

Surprise & symbolism. Just when your audience thinks you will do one thing, do something different. The Gettysberg Address is a speech given by Lincoln at the consecration of the Soldier’s National Cemetery, created to mark one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War. The speaker before him gave a speech that lasted for two hours, going into great detail about the battle and its historic significance. Audiences were used to very long speeches at that time.

When Lincoln got up to speak next, the crown of several thousand people would not have been surprised to hear Lincoln talk for an hour or more. Yet he gave a speech lasting just two minutes. In it he powerfully reminded the audience of the principles behind the Declaration of Independence and reaffirmed his belief that the war would bring a “new birth of freedom”. The subtext here is that he was talking about the freedom of slaves.

In this way, he used another powerful technique – symbolism – saying the soldiers who died at Gettysberg ensured the survival of representative democracy, and used the moment to cement in people’s minds the rightness of achieving another political and social objective, to end slavery, something that was still contentious, even within the Union.

It’s clear, then that Lincoln was a brilliant communicator, and he was using techniques that are just as relevant today, to anyone who wants to get their message across, influence others and achieve what they set out to achieve.