Dom’s day out with D&AD

When Dom’s not busy flexing his design muscles, he’s usually beating most of us at table football. Eager to add to his skills and compliment an encyclopedic knowledge of obscure font families, Dom attended D&AD’s ‘Writing for Advertising’ course with Will Awdry in London earlier this year.

‘Writing for Advertising’ covered ways to find and develop a ‘big idea’ through copy, creative writing from different angles, tips on connecting with an audience and how to inject emotion into copy.

Dom was impressed. He went as a self styled “font man” and returned full of praise for the art of copywriting. Here are a few of the things Dom told us stood out for him:

  1. How adding emotion or changing viewpoint can dramatically alter the impact of copy. The group worked through a range of practical techniques, including writing the same piece but in different styles ranging from ‘gossipy’ through to ‘functional’ and ‘demanding’.
  2. The craft of conveying a lot with a small number of words. One particular exercise involved everyone creating ‘six-word stories’ to see how persuasive they could be with only a few words – A challenge, but great for writing more effective headlines.
  3. As most of his fellow course chums were either journalists or copywriters, Dom was able to ask questions and pick up tips from the people around him.

Great copy is memorable, it sticks in your mind and has the ability to be called upon in unexpected ways, just like Dom’s snappy film summary. Employing all of the techniques he learned, it’s impactful, attention grabbing and perfectly captures the feel of the movie with its punchy delivery. Did you guess what it is yet? Point Break.

Copywriting lessons from a Guardian Masterclass

Earlier this month, I attended another Guardian Masterclass course at the newspaper’s London HQ titled: How to write better copy. Simply put, it was excellent. As you walk into the building, there’s an immediate sense of excitement; you’re guided through a maze of busy offices with newspapers scattered across desks, and people discussing the day's news over coffee around a foosball table.

As one of the most popular Guardian courses, it was attended by people from a variety of industries, all looking to learn more about how to use the written word to engage and entertain audiences. It’s safe to say we all finished the day with a set of skills and newfound confidence in our ability to write better copy.

Copywriting is the skill of crafting persuasive messages using clear, concise and engaging language. Working with the PR department and across social media means I not only need to know how to write captivating content for blogs, but also short copy for social media posts. I attended the course to improve my writing skills and learn how to communicate written information more effectively for our clients.

The course covered a number of topics, including writing for B2C vs B2B and understanding the psychology of reading, and provided a whole host of invaluable information for copywriters. What most resonated with me, however, were the following three points:

  1. People respond much better to a single argument, which is constantly restated. Using too many convincing arguments in your copy will make what you’ve written less memorable for the reader.
  2. For B2C - Making your writing conversational and using relatable language specific to your target audience makes you sound more confident and informed on what you’re talking about. Varying the length of sentences helps to break up heavy or complicated pieces of information whilst making it a more enjoyable read.
  3. More people read today than they ever have in history. Nowadays consumers are not looking for reasons to read, they are looking for reasons not to read. Because of this making your copy engaging within the first 60 words is more crucial than ever.

Whether you’re a blogger looking to write more engaging content, or a digital marketer wanting to learn about the differences of B2C and B2B copy, this course offers you an opportunity to polish up existing skills and learn a range of new ones. It certainly did for me.