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Every word counts | Tone of voice and copywriting | North West networking group | 22 January 2019

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Katie Brewin, freelance public relations, communications projects manager, editor and copywriter at Katie Brewin Communications

Visit the CharityComms website to view slides from previous events, see what events we have coming up and to check out what else we do: www.charitycomms.org.uk

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Every word counts | Tone of voice and copywriting | North West networking group | 22 January 2019

  1. 1. Every word counts Tips for improving written content By Katie Brewin Communications, PR, editing, copywriting Katie@brewin.org.uk @katieemmab
  2. 2. “I’d have written you a shorter letter, but I didn’t have time” (or access to a good editor) French mathematician and philosopher Blaise Pascal
  3. 3. The greater the budget…  Just Do It  Every Little Helps  Because you’re worth it  Love it or hate it
  4. 4. Obstacles time money skill set focus fresh eyes organisational culture
  5. 5. Aims: copywriting within comms  useful reminders  new thinking  practical ideas  hints and tips  workshop (practice) disclaimer – not focusing on getting content higher up in search engine rankings (but will touch on that)
  6. 6. Stronger content: check list targeted useful a good fit timely memorable colour, light & shade well structured no errors
  7. 7. Sourcing and planning Audit and action plan:  range of material available – could it be richer?  enablers: relationships (trust); visits; conversations; ‘buried treasure’  braver, less formal (not the obvious route)  journalistic approach  formats and templates to adapt  same content, different uses (put more in, get more out)
  8. 8. Think like a journalist Inform, educate, entertain  beginnings and endings  creative devices  interview techniques  what’s current BUT….keep your comms hat on
  9. 9. Writing skills  Fluency and plain English  Spacing and sub headers  Crafting quotes  Integrating organisational messages & key words  Being direct, being brave  Editing  Areas of strength and weakness: skilling up, dividing and conquering, commissioning Free resources:  www.plainenglish.co.uk  www.theguardian.com/guardian-observer-style-guide  www.gov.uk/topic/government-digital-guidance/content-publishing  www.powerthesaurus.org www.thesaurus.com
  10. 10. A few words on SEO  Keep it simple, straightforward, easy to understand  Put yourself in the searcher’s shoes (key words, search terms)  Use a pyramid structure – most important info at top  Don’t shoehorn in key words and phrases  Use calls to action  Learn, train, find out more, but: Audience first, search engine second https://www.web-behaviour.com/14-tips-seo-content-writing/ https://www.searchenginejournal.com
  11. 11. In a nutshell…  clear sense of brand and tone of voice  plan before you source  save raw copy for range of uses  use templates, creative tools and standard questions  commission & fight for budget when you need to  think like a journalist  challenge the status quo – be braver, more creative …BUT keep your comms hat on
  12. 12. Every word counts Katie Brewin freelance communications, PR, editing, copywriting Katie@brewin.org.uk @katieemmab
  13. 13. Visit the CharityComms website to view slides from past events, see what events we have coming up and to check out what else we do: www.charitycomms.org.uk
  14. 14. Tone of voice and copywriting North West networking group 22 January 2019 Manchester #CCNorthWest

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