Tuesday, September 27, 2005

A Yummy Justification for Copywriting

I admit, I do have one anxiety about my work. Sometimes I get a project from a client, take a look at what it needs...and the little monster peers up over my shoulder. "They could do this themselves," he whispers. "Why are you doing it when they could just save money?"

I wrestle with that little guy now and then.

I was wrestling with him a short time ago, while eating lunch out at a local Italian place that I love. Excellent fettucine alfredo. Somewhere around the fourth escaped noodle, it hit me. A justification for copywriting. A three-fold, very thorough, easy-to-remember explanation of the need for strong copywriting services in the corporate economy. Large or small. High-tech or low-tech.

And it all stems from eating out at restaurants.

We can cook our own food. Recipes are everywhere; supermarkets are enormous. So we don't NEED restaurants, right?

Yet the restaurant industry is a $300 billion+ market. Few markets are larger than it. And with good reason - we do need to eat, after all.

But with our ability to cook our own food, how come restaurants are so popular? After all, we can do it ourselves...

In answer to this conundrum, I present "A Yummy Justification for Copywriting" - three reasons why we eat out. And at the same time, three reasons why copywriting is best handled by a copywriter.

1. It's Quicker, And Easier.
There's no huge effort required - go to the restaurant, sit down and order, eat, and pay. There's no time spent in the kitchen, setting the table...you get the idea.

Having a copywriter do the project takes the burden off employees and eliminates the worry of, "If I say this will it work? If the campaign fails will I be fired?" They can do their jobs worry-free, and trust the copywriter's specialized skills.

2. It's Better Quality.
Let's face it, we're not all gourmet chefs. If we were, no fast food chain would have made it past the 60s. Hmm, with that thought, maybe we SHOULD learn to be gourmet chefs...
Anyway, food at restaurants is usually very good. They'll have specialties we don't know how to prepare, but love to eat. The restaurant survives on how good its food and service are.

Just the same, we're not all snappy copywriters. Each of us has things we do well and things we don't. A copywriter writes well; they know how to sell with words. It's their job. And just like the restaurant, their livelihood is based on how good their product and service are.

3. You Get Relaxation.
At a restaurant you get the full dining experience, without doing the work. You're seated in a nicely-decorated place, there are no obligations for you to fulfill while here, and you get food to boot.

With a copywriter that knows their stuff, your concerns will be laid to rest on the quality and clarity of the copy coming to you. The client hands over the information, answers the copywriter's questions, and relaxes. The copy comes back, goes through revisions, and sent on to its destination. The worries of quality, timeliness, focus and self-risk are gone. The client divests the obligation...and gets good copy to boot!

Not everybody would draw a comparison between fettucine alfredo and the value of copywriting. But then, I'm the Blue Ferret. Odd topics are my domain. And hey, it's resulted in a simple, well-connected justification that any copywriter can print out, stick to their wall, and affirm their value with day by day.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Frantic! - Cartoon Reminiscence of Organized Madness

I remember an old Peanuts cartoon I read as a kid. It had Charlie Brown & the gang at a decathlon, with Ol' Chuck competing. He won an event - I think it was the discus - and everybody was totally stunned.

Lucy, utterly flabbergasted that Charlie Brown could win ANYthing, said, "Stop the world. I want to get off."

That's about how I've been feeling lately.

People calling at all hours, a bunch of last-minute changes needed, new projects on the horizon, marketing to handle by the end of the month..phew! And school on top of it all. I already had to miss one of my favorite networking events last week due to a study session (quite frankly, I'd have been better off going to the meeting instead).

At least I'm keeping busy. It's WAY too easy to become complacent these days. Which brings up a whole new set of troubles that I'd rather avoid any day. The business is positive, too - two projects completing, and a new one that was just greenlighted today.

I think I'll pencil some time in this weekend to finish that Justification for Copywriting article I've been working on. Until then, remember - winter is coming. Stick your head out a window and enjoy a moment of sun while it's here.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Unscheduled Absence--Terminated!

Haven't posted much, I know. Bad Blue Ferret. I've been very busy - only last week I turned over two projects to clients for review, and a third is up for review this week. I had a moment of "what do I do with this extra time?" early Monday! Can't recall the last time I had one of those. So I went and had a root beer float to celebrate.

Right now I'm working on an article titled, "A Yummy Justification For Copywriting." Subject matter's hopefully obvious - I'll be talking about an experience I had that gave me a really good analogy for why businesses need copywriters.

That's all for now...but I'll be back soon!

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Communication in Chaos

As a professional on the go, I rely on my cellphone a lot. It keeps me in contact with my work and my clients, wherever I am. Once, I dictated to my own voicemail box because I had a great idea for a client's brochure - and I couldn't find a pen!

Like most everyone else, I've been following the news on the locations affected by Hurricane (now Tropical Storm) Katrina. I have several friends in that area. One's been without power since Monday; another barely missed losing his home.

Where do these two intertwine? On one of my central principles as a copywriter - communication. Here are a couple links:

Cingular Gives Opens Free Calling Stations
Cell Carriers Rush In To Help With Katrina
T-Mobile Sets Up Free Wi-fi in New Orleans

The generosity I'm seeing from cellphone carriers alone is heartening. Of course, the Red Cross, the National Guard and local & national charities deserve recognition for their good work in response to this disaster. But I want to offer a nod to these cellphone carriers for this kindness.

These services will aid in rescue efforts, in moving supplies to where they're needed, and to reconnect broken families. Communication could literally make the difference between saving someone and losing them. With that in mind, free cellphone service becomes a valuable gift, and I thank the carriers for their part in Katrina's relief efforts.