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Ukswg copywriting slides_slideshare_v1-1

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I run copywriting masterclasses in all sorts of places. To find out more, email me:
alanbarker830@btinternet.com

These are a slide version of a session I ran at 'Words that Work', a conference in Bournemouth on 18 May 2014, organised by Brian Jenner of the UK Speechwriters' Guild, and Richard Spencer of A Thousand Monkeys - both of whom did a great job. One of the interesting insights of a very insightful day was that the word 'copywriting' seems to be becoming rather old-fashioned. We're all writers now, as Sarah McCartney noticed. (She's decided to call herself a scribe - good idea.)

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Ukswg copywriting slides_slideshare_v1-1

  1. 1. Welcome to Copywriting for non-copywriters Alan Barker
  2. 2. I GAVE THIS SESSION AT THIS CONFERENCE:
  3. 3. I RUN THIS CONSULTANCY: www.kairostraining.co.uk
  4. 4. ... AND I WRITE BOOKS.
  5. 5. I’M ASSUMING THAT YOU’RE NOT A COPYWRITER. MAYBE YOU WRITE:
  6. 6. ... REPORTS, EMAILS, LETTERS – THE KIND OF WRITING I CALL FUNCTIONAL
  7. 7. IT’S A BIT LIKE THE KIND OF WRITING WE WERE TAUGHT AT SCHOOL.
  8. 8. NEWSLETTERS, MARKETING EMAILS, BROCHURES, LEAFLETS, BLOG POSTINGS - AND EVEN TWEETS AND TEXTS BUT MAYBE YOU’RE FINDING YOURSELF WRITING MORE AND MORE :
  9. 9. ... THE KIND OF WRITING THAT’S OFTEN CALLED: COPYWRITING
  10. 10. WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?
  11. 11. I LOOKED AT SOME OF THE GUIDES TO COPYWRITING, AND THEY SAID STUFF LIKE...
  12. 12. Copywriting: received wisdom emotions.  Show definite benefits, and start at once.  Tap the primal emotions. ... AND...
  13. 13. Copywriting: receivedwisdom#2  gets attention  focuses on the target reader  stresses benefits  differentiates your organisation from others  proves its case  establishes credibility and conviction  builds value  closes with a call to action ALL VERY GOOD, BUT -
  14. 14. BUT HOW DO YOU ACTUALLY DO THIS KIND OF WRITING?
  15. 15. LET’S THINK ABOUT THREE KEY VARIABLES...
  16. 16. Threevariables functional copy committed reader contract uncommitted FIRST: THE CONTRACT THE READER MAKES WITH YOU.
  17. 17. Threevariables functional copy committed reader contract uncommitted FUNCTIONAL: THE READER WANTS TO READ COPY: WE HAVE TO ATTRACT THE READER’S ATTENTION
  18. 18. committed reader contract uncommitted purpose inform perform Threevariables functional copy SO THE PURPOSE OF THE WRITING DIFFERS...
  19. 19. committed reader contract uncommitted purpose inform perform style text voice Threevariables functional copy .. AND THE STYLE WILL BE DIFFERENT, TOO.
  20. 20. style text voice THE WORD ‘TEXT’ IS RELATED TO THE WORD ‘TEXTILE’...
  21. 21. style text voice FUNCTIONAL STYLE IS ‘WOVEN’ INTO COMPLEX PATTERNS... THE WORD ‘TEXT’ IS RELATED TO THE WORD ‘TEXTILE’...
  22. 22. Once final decisions are made about the available funding for 2011/12, this strategy will also need to involve making difficult decisions about the level and allocation of money raised from council taxpayers and the Mayor’s revised priorities across the GLA group. LIKE THIS:
  23. 23. style text voice ... AND COPYWRITING FOLLOWS THE RHYTHMS AND PATTERNS OF SPEECH...
  24. 24. Here’s some advice for companies in search of a better bottom line: Send your workers home early. Sound silly? It certainly does to most executives. ... LIKE THIS!
  25. 25. Three dimensions of copywriting  Sense  Sound  Structure THIS PRINCIPLE PLAYS OUT IN THREE DIMENSIONS...
  26. 26. Three dimensions of copywriting  Sense  Sound  Structure THIS PRINCIPLE PLAYS OUT IN THREE DIMENSIONS... ... AND I’VE GOT THREE SUGGESTIONS FOR EACH...
  27. 27. Three dimensions of copywriting  Sense  Sound  Structure AND THE FIRST DIMENSION IS:
  28. 28. Sense  Be clear  Be memorable  Use the senses: literally or metaphorically HERE ARE SOME EXAMPLES -
  29. 29. Monkey visits German pizzeria, vandalises toilet A PRETTY CLEAR HEADLINE! Sense: be clear
  30. 30. Sense: be clear IF YOU’RE BOB THE BUILDER – SAY SO.
  31. 31. Sense: be memorable YOU CAN EVEN DRAW ATTENTION TO HOW CLEAR YOU’RE BEING...
  32. 32. Sense: be memorable YOU CAN EVEN DRAW ATTENTION TO HOW CLEAR YOU’RE BEING... ...IN FACT, THIS TAGLINE HAS BECOME SO MEMORABLE, IT’S NOW LIKE A PROVERB.
  33. 33. Sense: be memorable PROVERBS ARE INTERESTING.
  34. 34. Sense: be memorable THEIR MEANING IS ‘OPEN’...
  35. 35. Sense: be memorable ...WE HAVE TO ADD SOMETHING FROM OUR OWN EXPERIENCE TO MAKE SENSE OF THEM.
  36. 36. Sense: be memorable NOBODY IS THE ‘AUTHOR’ OF A PROVERB; PROVERBS BELONG TO ALL OF US.
  37. 37. Sense: be memorable GREAT THINKERS CAN CREATE NEW PROVERBS...
  38. 38. Sense: be memorable ... AND SO CAN GREAT COPYWRITERS.
  39. 39. Sense: use the senses (literally) ANOTHER WAY TO MAKE OUR WRITING MEMORABLE IS TO APPEAL TO THE SENSES...
  40. 40. Sense: use the senses (literally) FROM TASTE TO SOUND...
  41. 41. Sense: use the senses (literally) IN THIS EARLIER VERSION, THE COPYWRITER HAD TO TELL US WHAT TO DO!
  42. 42. WE CAN FIND OTHER EXAMPLES OF THESE EFFECTS IN SIX-WORD STORIES...
  43. 43. ...OTHERWISE KNOWN AS FLASH FICTION...
  44. 44. Sense: use the senses (literally or metaphorically) Window box, modest lawn, wildflower meadow. HERE’S A SIX- WORD STORY THAT USES THE SENSES REALLY WELL...
  45. 45. www.smithmag.net (LOTS MORE SIX- WORD STORIES HERE.)
  46. 46. Sense: use the senses (metaphorically) METAPHOR IS A GOOD WAY OF CONVEYING AN IDEA BY USING THE SENSES...
  47. 47. Sense: use the senses (metaphorically) AND WE CAN PLAY WITH METAPHORS BY MAKING THEM LITERAL.
  48. 48. Sound  Keep it simple  Give it rhythm  Play with patterns THIS IS THE SECOND DIMENSION OF COPYWRITING...
  49. 49. Sound: keep it simple A BRILLIANTLY SIMPLE BRAND NAME...
  50. 50. Sound: keep it simple A BRILLIANTLY SIMPLE BRAND NAME... ... REGULAR ALTERNATION OF CONSONANTS AND VOWELS.
  51. 51. Sound: keep it simple THIS COMBINATION OF VOWELS SEEMS TO BE PROBLEMATIC...
  52. 52. Sound: keep it simple WHEN SONIC SIMPLICITY WORKS, IT REALLY FLIES...
  53. 53. Sound: keep it simple ... AND WHEN IT DOESN’T WORK... WHO REMEMBERS IT?
  54. 54. Sound: keep it simple (and give it rhythm) THE SIMPLICITY (AND DOUBLE MEANINGS) MAKE THIS SLOGAN SO MEMORABLE...
  55. 55. Sound: keep it simple (and give it rhythm) ... THAT IT’S BEEN STOLEN FOR ANOTHER CAMPAIGN!
  56. 56. Sound: give it rhythm WHY NOT ‘PEPPER AND SALT’?
  57. 57. Sound: give it rhythm WHY NOT ‘PEPPER AND SALT’? BECAUSE WE PREFER REGULAR RHYTHM.
  58. 58. Sound: give it rhythm WHY NOT ‘PEPPER AND SALT’? BECAUSE WE PREFER REGULAR RHYTHM. STRONG – WEAK – STRONG - WEAK
  59. 59. Sound: give it rhythm THE SAME EFFECT CROPS UP IN ALL SORTS OF PLACES – EVEN GREAT LITERATURE...
  60. 60. Sound: playing with rhythmic patterns ... AND WE CAN PLAY WITH THESE EFFECTS TOO, JUST AS WE CAN PLAY WITH SENSE AND METAPHOR...
  61. 61. /troch/ ee/ iamb trochee RHYTHM IS ALL ABOUT ALTERNATING STRONG AND WEAK STRESSES... Sound: playing with rhythmic patterns
  62. 62. Sound: playing with rhythmic patterns APPARENTLY, MANY ‘FEMININE’ BRANDS HAVE IAMBIC NAMES...
  63. 63. APPARENTLY, MANY ‘FEMININE’ BRANDS HAVE IAMBIC NAMES... Sound: playing with rhythmic patterns ... AND MANY ‘MASCULINE’ BRANDS ARE TROCHAIC... APPARENTLY...
  64. 64. Sound: play with patterns WE CAN ALSO PLAY WITH VOWEL SOUNDS (IT’S CALLED ASSONANCE...)
  65. 65. Sound: play with patterns ...AND CONSONANT SOUNDS (WHICH IS ALLITERATION)
  66. 66. Sound: play with patterns OR BOTH!
  67. 67. Sound: play with patterns Pickles, pregnancy, puking, pain, premature. Priceless. HERE’S A LOVELY ALLITERATIVE SIX-WORD STORY.
  68. 68. Structure  Inform or perform  Shape your sentences  Be unusual INTO THE THIRD DIMENSION...
  69. 69. Structure: inform A VERY EFFECTIVE FUNCTIONAL STRUCTURE IS THE PYRAMID:
  70. 70. Structure: inform Say it first, then support it.
  71. 71. ... LIKE THIS. BUT PYRAMIDS SIT STILL; THEY DON’T PERFORM... A written agenda acts as: a plan of the meeting; an objective control of the meeting; and a measure of the meeting's success.
  72. 72. Structure: perform For sale: baby shoes, never used. ...LIKE THIS DOES!
  73. 73. Structure: perform Every sentence takes you on a little journey somewhere. [Susan Bernovsky]
  74. 74. Structure: perform In the beginning God created heaven and earth. And the earth was void and empty, and darkness was on the face of the deep; and the spirit of God moved over the waters. And God said … WRITING THAT PERFORMS OFTEN MAKES STRUCTURES BY ADDING...
  75. 75. Structure: perform HERE’S AN EXAMPLE FROM A (RATHER OLD) AD...
  76. 76. Structure: shape your sentences One day you’re in, the next day you’re out. THIS SHAPE – CREATING A CONTRAST – IS CALLED ANTITHESIS.
  77. 77. Summarise: shape your sentences My fellow citizens: I stand here today... humbled by the task before us; grateful for the trust you have bestowed; mindful of the sacrifices borne by our ancestors. AND THIS...
  78. 78. ...IS CALLED A TRICOLON: A SET OF THREE (HUMBLED...GRATEFUL...MINDFUL) My fellow citizens: I stand here today... humbled by the task before us; grateful for the trust you have bestowed; mindful of the sacrifices borne by our ancestors.
  79. 79. ...MUCH USED BY THIS MAN: My fellow citizens: I stand here today... humbled by the task before us; grateful for the trust you have bestowed; mindful of the sacrifices borne by our ancestors.
  80. 80. TAKE A LOOK AT THE WRITING ON THE NEXT SLIDE. HOW WELL STRUCTURED IS IT?
  81. 81. Structure: shape your sentences So what is it that has made this festival the gem that it clearly is? I think the answer is quite simple. Great music played by some of the most wonderful musicians, surroundings which offer the audience the opportunity to feel directly involved in the experience, while at the same time giving the performers the chance to be inspired and energised by the intense concentration of those listening.
  82. 82. Structure: shape your sentences So what is it that has made this festival the gem that it clearly is? I think the answer is quite simple. Great music played by some of the most wonderful musicians, surroundings which offer the audience the opportunity to feel directly involved in the experience, while at the same time giving the performers the chance to be inspired and energised by the intense concentration of those listening. IT STARTS WELL: A GOOD RHETORICAL QUESTION AND A SIMPLE STATEMENT. BUT THEN IT GETS HORRIBLY LOST...
  83. 83. Structure: shape your sentences So what is it that has made this festival the gem that it clearly is? I think the answer is quite simple. Great music played by some of the most wonderful musicians, surroundings which offer the audience the opportunity to feel directly involved in the experience, while at the same time giving the performers the chance to be inspired and energised by the intense concentration of those listening. AND THE GRAMMAR GOES WRONG.
  84. 84. Structure: be unusual WE CAN PLAY WITH GRAMMATICAL STRUCTURES, TOO...
  85. 85. Structure: be unusual (IT SHOULD BE ‘DIFFERENTLY’ OF COURSE...)
  86. 86. Bald. Unreliable. Easily distracte HERE’S A FUNNY SIX- WORD STORY THAT PLAYS WITH SPELLING ... Structure: be unusual
  87. 87. ... COPYWRITING OFTEN PLAYS FAST AND LOOSE WITH GRAMMAR. Structure: be unusual
  88. 88. (WHICH FUNCTIONAL WRITING SHOULD NEVER DO!) Structure: be unusual
  89. 89. BUT IT HAS TO LOOK DELIBERATE – NOT LIKE A SIMPLE MISTAKE. Structure: be unusual
  90. 90. I CAN’T HELP THINKING THAT THIS NEXT EXAMPLE IS ACTUALLY A MISTAKE - Structure: be unusual
  91. 91. Structure: be unusual
  92. 92. Structure: be unusual (THERE SHOULD BE AN APOSTROPHE: FOR GOODNESS’ SAKE
  93. 93. FOR ME, THIS IS ONE OF THE MURKIEST ASPECTS OF COPYWRITING:
  94. 94. HOW IMPORTANT IS IT TO BE GRAMMATICALLY ‘CORRECT’?
  95. 95. TRICKY! MEANWHILE, HERE’S A SUMMARY OF ALL MY SUGGESTIONS:
  96. 96. Three dimensions of copywriting  Sense  Be clear  Be memorable  Use the senses, literally or metaphorically  Sound  Keep it simple  Give it rhythm  Play with patterns  Structure  Inform or perform  Shape your sentences  Be unusual
  97. 97. Alan Barker www.kairostraining.co.uk Copywriting for non-copywriters

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