This year I moved from a client services role in an advertising agency to a copywriting role with the Australian office of Writers. Making the switch was something I’d always wanted but I did have my doubts about whether I’d pick up the creative role fast enough, and quite frankly, be any good at it!
In fact, it was less of a struggle that I thought. That business acumen you need to survive in the advertising world helps me every day as a writer – it helps me keep the end customer front of mind in everything that I write and I constantly ask myself, why should they care?
Plus, if I receive a less-than-comprehensive brief from a client (it happens… occasionally) I won’t just plough on with what I think the client wants and hope it hits the mark. I’m more than happy to keep asking questions, and will also suggest a different approach if appropriate. As I found in my previous role, people appreciate it when you show that you’re really thinking about a project – even if it doesn’t end up being the eventual approach.
Of course, I’ve also learned a lot of new skills in my first few months here. Something that helps me day-to-day actually comes from one of the tips you’ll see on the bottom of our email signatures (if you’re lucky enough to receive emails from us of course). And it’s really quite simple: If you wouldn’t say it, don’t write it.
Couldn’t be simpler, but it’s so true! Writing isn’t about using long words to make ourselves feel more intellectual. It’s about conveying a message with passion and enthusiasm to provoke a reaction from the intended audience. Every word has to fight for its place on the page – and with attention spans dwindling rapidly, writing succinctly and with clarity is more important now than it ever has been.
If you write with precision and use plain English, you can’t go too far wrong. And if you can’t do that, call us!
Here’s some other things I’ve learned from my time with Writers:
- There’s more than one way to skin a cat. Don’t take it personally if someone has a different approach to you, keep an open mind and take a step back if you need to in order to get a different perspective.
- The overnight test is an extremely powerful tool. Use it whenever you can, and not just for writing.
- When making a cup of tea, remember to ask everyone in the office if they want one too!