I once once wrote some copy for a recruitment company that went something like: ‘You don’t want a long list of the wrong people. You want the right person first time.’ The MD told me it had to change. It turned out he had previously been a professional hypnotist.
When I’m working with someone to improve some copy they’ve written – for example a marketing manager at a medium-sized business – the question I’m most likely to ask is: ‘What are you actually saying here?’ Because people have a terrible habit of obscuring the message as soon as they sit down to write it.
Bristol design agency Robson Dowry have just launched their new website and, unusually for a design agency, the copy takes the lead. I’m particularly pleased because I wrote the site’s content. It’s an interesting example of focusing very hard on what you should be saying, and then saying it calmly and clearly.
So many organisations seem to love headlines like this: ‘Helping you out’, ‘Putting you in control’, ‘Working for a better tomorrow’, ‘Giving something back’, ‘Operating on autopilot’ (OK, I lied about the last one).
Why do they love them so much?
If writing is an important part of your job, but you’re not a professional writer and no one’s ever trained you to do it – here’s a chance to get a whole lot better at it.
Here’s some research that shows that it doesn’t matter how old or young you are, if you want to find something out online, you like to read text first. Pretty pictures, fancy technology – that comes later.
One of our biggest clients has just won Agency of the Year for their work in financial services.
We’re delighted, because they do great work that makes financial products fresh and attractive – and because a lot of our words go into their work, helping making those financial products clear and compelling.
At long last the designer who designed the Wordbrain brand and website has her own site. Her name is Laura Jervis and if you’re after a new brand, a new website or a piece of print design, she’s an excellent choice. Always seems to come up with something fresh and new, but always appropriate to the brand she’s doing it for.
A few months ago Orange raised a shitstorm by sending this text message, without warning, to its customers:
‘Hi from Orange. We’re increasing the price of your monthly plan by 4.34% from 8 January 2012. For more information visit orangeworld.co.uk/planupdate’.
So the latest verbal abomination from LOCOG, organising committee for ‘London 2012′, has been unleashed. This time it’s the committee’s chief executive, Paul Deighton, telling us that they’ve decided to ‘de-risk’ things by bringing in more troops. Feel better about security at the Olympics now?