Brochure Copywriters – Are They A Lost Tribe?

Brochure Copywriters – Are They A Lost Tribe?

COPYWRITING SHORTS #106 You won’t find many copywriters up the Orinoco. Then again, the locals’ need for printed brochures probably isn’t what it was. (That’s assuming of course that online marketing has permeated rain forests far and wide.)   You’ll certainly see many examples of online brochures here in the UK. Their offline cousins are still in play, but they’ve been relegated to a more supportive role in the marketing mix. It wasn’t always thus. Right up to the 1990s, B2B companies used suites of brochures to flag-up their product ranges. Holiday companies churned out door-stopping editions to cater for every season, whilst estate agents could always be relied upon to excel in the brochure department. Nowadays, you’re more likely to see brochures as PDF attachments. Many of the same offline copywriting skills are used – not to mention the stock photography and graphics which have always been the minimal mainstay of a half-way decent brochure. What were once regarded as ‘sales aids’ in their printed format are now very much an adjunct to a company’s website. Having a capacity to go into great detail on any particular topic has always been a great strength of brochures. For example, you can always get a feel for an attractive property for sale on the Rightmove website. For a full-cream version, however, there’s no substitute for a well-produced printed brochure. Plenty of marketing people overlook the power of brochures, hence the latter-day put down of purely informative websites as being merely ‘brochure sites’. And yet, they’ve always been a tangible treasure you could whip out – anytime, anywhere (to paraphrase Martini!).... Read more...

Advertising Copywriting – Talk Your Client Through It

In the maelstrom of marketing activity with which we’re all bombarded on a daily basis, it’s hard to believe that advertising copywriting was once a lead creative skill in what was the most dominant aspect of marketing. Clients of a certain age would be forgiven for being confused by the range of techniques that now contribute to sales success.  We’re talking here about things like social media and blogging, SEO and the multifarious forms of online copywriting. They would probably identify with some of the themes of this article – but what about today’s younger generation of marketers and copywriters?  Are they missing a trick by overlooking the proven skill-sets of advertising and direct response – in particular, the value of the creativity that advertising copywriting brings to the party?   Nostalgia – or Amnesia?  There’s a general feeling around that advertising copywriting isn’t what it was: to wit, the nostalgia surrounding the ‘Mad Men’ phenomenon.  In the 1970s and 80s when Saatchi & Saatchi reigned supreme in the UK, advertising was definitely at the ‘sexy’ end of the marketing spectrum.  Today, it’s seen as a bit player in the marketing mix and, when it comes to ‘digital marketing’, advertising barely ranks as an ‘extra’. Back in the day, to win your metaphorical ‘Equity Card’ (Equity being an actors’ union for all you non-UK readers) you had to have ad agency experience and know how to master the art of ‘creative concepts’.  As that usually entailed working with an art director, there really weren’t too many entrees into the business other than securing a job in an ad agency. ... Read more...

Brochure Copywriting – Talk Your Client Through It

I’ve just finished writing a 64-page brochure which made me think about the brochure copywriting process.  As with so many other aspects of copywriting, clients aren’t necessarily aware of what goes on ‘behind the scenes’. That’s why this article may be useful in giving freelance copywriters some tips about: – Helping your client appreciate the work that’s involved in professional brochure copywriting – How you cost your work and how you can justify your copywriting rates. In my experience, clients fall into two camps when it comes to understanding how brochure copy arrives fully-formed and fitting beautifully onto the page. Firstly, there are those who understand that making sure the brochure content is expressed clearly, informatively and persuasively isn’t always as easy as it looks.  In other words, they appreciate the copywriting skills involved and they are happy to pay for the services of a professional copywriter. On the other hand, there are those clients who think that writing brochures is all very straightforward and aren’t quite sure what all the fuss is about.  To them, brochures are akin to the ‘flyers’ they’ve been pushing through people’s doors for many a year. I hardly need say that you need to be aware that a certain type of client can cause problems. These may occur when writing the copy to begin with, and then in justifying a reasonable rate for the job. It helps of course if the copywriter is involved with the project from the outset, where the copy is seen by the client as an integral part of the design – and not as some afterthought or ‘add... Read more...
Brochure Copywriters Say It With Sales

Brochure Copywriters Say It With Sales

There are probably as many different ways of writing brochures as there are brochure formats. For  brochure copywriters, this could be a little daunting – until you bear in mind that there are several useful copywriting principles that can and should be followed. Let’s start with the front cover. This is arguably the most important page in any brochure; whatever its format; and no matter how many pages are involved. Obviously, a brochure must be pleasing on the eye – not necessarily eye-catching in its design, but certainly smart and stylish enough to demand you lift it and read on!   So is the front page all about the design? Or are there other elements that should be considered? The answer is that copywriting in its purest sense should be involved. That is to say, the copywriter must come up with a headline that complements the visual. It goes without saying that the creative concept should be one hundred per cent relevant to the product or service being sold. Notice the word ‘sold’. A brochure is very much a sales document – an opportunity for a copywriter to champion the virtues of their client’s brand, business, product or service. A creative concept that doesn’t ‘sell’ is totally worthless – no matter how clever the headline and no matter how appealing the design, photography or illustration.   The Importance of Internal Pages A skilful brochure copywriter will carry forward the underlying sales message into the inside pages of the brochure. It should in fact be the copywriter’s sole and major responsibility to make sure that there’s a consistency to the... Read more...