Straight Talk: Perfecting Your Copywriting Craft
Copywriting is hard, intensely creative work. Thus, like most crafts, you get better at it as you practice it more in your business, particularly if you also teach the upcoming copywriters as well.
Mark Shaw, the founder of Jupiter Design (one of the U.K.'s top 25 design agencies), has trained many successful copywriters and now works as a consultant in brand strategy and creative communications.
Shaw recently wrote "Copywriting: Successful Writing for Design, Advertising and Marketing," in which he uses his experience to conduct in-depth interviews with leading copywriters. He also provides illustrated case studies of major brands that explored the challenges involved in creating cutting-edge copy. In chapters devoted to each specific medium, the book teaches the art of writing great copy for advertising and direct marketing, retailing, catalogs, company magazines, websites, branding and more.
Boldt: Why did you to write this book?
Shaw: I have been a creative copywriter most of my life, since graduating [university], and I have always found copywriting to be the most stimulating and rewarding way of working. Over the years ,I recruited young writers to support me, and I trained them (usually taking three years per writer) to the point where they could handle every type of brief.
It wasn't until I was training other writers that I really learned my craft, and perfected my techniques, and as I did this I realized that I was building up a valuable body of work that I could pass on to others in a textbook.
Boldt: What are the challenges to creating cutting-edge copy in direct mail?
Shaw: Direct mail is possibly the most challenging form of copywriting-it needs a strong creative hook to capture the reader's eye, it has to be as concise as possible so that the message is absorbed fully, and-most importantly-it has to deliver the desired response.