Everyone can string a sentence together, but not many people have spent their whole life learning the craft of writing. I have. Luckily, I'm willing to share what I know with you. That means you get great copy that brings customers flocking to your door. I love helping businesses succeed using the power of words. I've done just that for big names like Direct Line Group and Gamestation, as well as sole traders and everyone in between. I can help your business succeed too. Get in touch to find out how.
A great brochure starts with good design and uses persuasive writing to drive home your key messages. I write customer focused copy designed to make your brochure and your business stand out from the crowd.
Great website copywriting should grab the reader’s attention and keep them coming back for more. In a crowded marketplace you need words that get straight to the point and say exactly what your customers want to know.
Stay in touch with your existing customers with good email copywriting that reflects your brand. I create engaging content designed to boost your sales and your customer offering, but anything less will end up in the bin.
As a working journalist, I can help you create an editorial plan for your business blog. By planning ahead, you can save time and understand the kinds of stories that will keep your blog buzzing.
Skills // Press Releases, Brochures, Newsletters, Website Content, Advertorials, Feature Articles, Leaflets, Sales Letters, emailers, Blogging, News, Reviews, Fiction and more...
HPI Press Release
Taunton Literary Festival Website
Modern Claims Magazine Article
costgard is a utilties expert, helping businesses find the best deals for their gas and electricity. They needed a feature article on the state of the energy market and how to reduce costs in 2012. The editorial was aimed at start-up businesses, so it needed to meet the needs of that audience.
The piece was turned around quickly, to meet a tight deadline and appeared in Talk Business Magazine. costgard has asked me to write another feature for them.
Keep Fit Boot Camp
Keep Fit Boot Camp offers a range of fitness classes and retreats, as well as personal training services.
Keep Fit Boot Camp offers a range of fitness classes and retreats, as well as personal training services. After writing its website content, Keep Fit Boot Camp asked me to provide monthly newsletter copy. These email newsletters are designed to offer news on offers and new classes to increase sign up rates, as well as providing friendly advice and encouragement to customers trying to focus on their fitness.
I am a subheading
This travel insurance client, aimed at the student market, wanted to create a social media campaign to promote its new travel insurance offering.
I wrote a series of items from the point of view of students, using an informal, youth-oriented style. The PR team came up with a list of subjects designed to encourage student travellers to buy travel cover.
My job was to use a fun, light-hearted approach to get the key messages home.
This interior and exterior landscaping company needed a feature article targeted at hotel owners and managers.
This interior and exterior landscaping company needed a feature article targeted at hotel owners and managers. The piece needed to outline the basics of garden design and the benefits of investing in good planting and design to enhance the guest experience. The feature required a lot of research and creativity.
Weddings and prestige rental competition
This prestige rental client needed some competition copy for a wedding magazine.
This prestige rental client needed some competition copy for a wedding magazine.
The copy needed to appeal to the luxury and high end wedding market and highlight the range of prestige models available for brides and grooms.
About this Blog // I love words, design and anything to do with the craft of writing. Read on for more about words and stuff, not just copywriting.
Pepsi's controversial ad used imagery from the Black Lives Matter movement to sell soft drinks and, rightly, people weren't happy.
This week, Pepsi released its new advert, starring reality star Kendall Jenner. Nothing remarkable there. Unfortunately, Pepsi had decided to use imagery from the Black Lives Matter movement to sell soft drinks and, rightly, people weren’t happy. Since the uproar, Pepsi has withdrawn the ad, so you may not even be able to see it any more, but there are lessons to be learnt.
In case you missed it, the Pepsi ad featured Kendall Jenner, in blonde wig, engrossed in a glamorous photo shoot. Meanwhile, a peaceful protest of some kind is taking place and drifting past the window. The ad cuts to a woman in a hijab struggling with her photography project and a cellist practicing alone, until they’re both drawn towards the protest. It’s a multi-cultural, multi-faith, gender fluid jamboree. Jenner is the last one to join the party. She whips off her blonde wig, tosses it at the only dark-skinned black woman in the piece, struts through the crowd to cheers and approaches the police barricade. It ends with her handing one of the stern-faced police officers a can of Pepsi – he drinks, everyone’s happy.
There are so many things wrong with this advert and you can find full breakdowns on the mistakes elsewhere. However, there are three main lessons for brands to learn from Pepsi’s mistakes:
Black Oppression and Civil Rights Protest aren’t Fashion Trends
The main problem with the advert is that Pepsi saw the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement as something it could co-opt to sell drinks. It’s a crass commercial move that undermines the real struggle the Black Lives Matter movement represents. Pepsi clearly has no interest in the political marches and protests we’ve seen around the world, recently. The company just saw a social media trend and decided to use it to sell a product. At a time when black people are being shot by police in the US and people are rising up in protest, it was a serious misstep.
In addition, the advert used what has become the iconic image of black protest, the lone figure of Ieshia Evans standing in front of riot police. However, the advert replaced a black woman with a famous white woman with no history of political activisim. This not only trivialised Evans’ moment by using it to sell Pepsi, but also removed black people from the protest, also sidelining the other token minorities featured in the ad.
Choose Your Brand Ambassador Carefully
Kylie Jenner was the wrong person to front an already flawed advert for Pepsi. Not only is Jenner a white woman, therefore erasing black women from their own protest, but she is also known in the black community for being culturally insensitive. In addition, Jenner has no connection to the Black Lives Matter movement, in fact she’s never shown any political awareness or support for any civil rights protests or marches. She’s a rich, white woman who is famous for being famous and then became a model and lives in the bubble of privilege that that affords. I’m not knocking her for her lifestyle, but she’s clearly not the right person for a politically charged advert.
Would the Pepsi ad work if they’d used a black woman? It would have been better, but still unwise. Pepsi has used Beyonce in its ads before and she would have been a much better fit for this political message of hope and solidarity. Queen Bey has used black power imagery in her music videos and her last album was a commentary on the black American experience, especially black women. Beyonce would have helped Pepsi avoid the white savior issue of a white woman stepping up to help minorities win their own battle, but ultimately, it would have still been an ad that uses the commodification of black struggle to sell soda.
Diversity in the Boardroom
One of the most shocking things about the Pepsi ad is the number of people who must have seen and approved it. I don’t know who is on the board for Pepsi but I’m willing to bet they’re white because anyone of colour would have seen the problems from a mile away. Hiring from a diverse pool of people, which includes ethnicity, political and religious beliefs, sexuality, gender and social backgrounds is one of the best ways of avoiding embarrassing moments like this latest Pepsi ad. It’s not foolproof, but it helps.
The best thing about the Pepsi ad was the response from ‘black Twitter’…
"Now just wait one second officers.
I have a Pepsi." pic.twitter.com/NW0sddKOOI
— Philip Lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) April 5, 2017
and from Martin Luther King’s daughter, which finally prompted Pepsi to pull the ad.
— Be A King (@BerniceKing) April 5, 2017
Quite often, I get briefs that are a little…er…too brief. A quick email with a link thrown in or an attachment and a lot of wishful thinking, do not a good brief make. At the other end of the scale, I get an email trail with eight attachments and several links to follow. This deluge of information isn’t very helpful either. I have to spend a lot of time deciphering the emails to extract a brief. Then I have to open all the attachments and follow all the links and read all the information and try and discern which ones are pertinent to the brief. It’s a bit like archaeology and it takes a long time.
There’s a careful balance to be struck between you and your copywriter. You want to give me enough information to make a great first draft, but you don’t want to swamp me with files and documents, which will add time to the project and the end cost. Sometimes, more isn’t necessarily more.
I avoid this issue by providing my clients with a briefing sheet. This is a brief questionnaire, which asks the right questions to ensure I have all the information I need. It also helps you clarify the brief in your own head. The briefing sheet is fast and easy to fill out, saving you time and helping you understand what I need to get started.
Sometimes, briefing a copywriter can be a daunting task, if you’ve never done it before, but a good brief is key to getting a project off on the right foot. It means I deliver a better result and there are fewer redrafts, which means you stick to your budget.
If your copywriter doesn’t provide a briefing sheet, try suggesting it to them. Or just drop me a line to discuss your latest project and get it under way – no stress, just great copy.
This is my 10 year anniversary as a freelance copywriter. 10 years of wonderful clients (mostly).
I started in a flat in London and relocated to a house in Taunton, Somerset. It wasn’t easy finding business outside the Capital, but thanks to a client introducing me to Taunton BNI, it gets easier with every passing year.
I just want to say, thanks to everyone who has helped me get this far. Here’s to the next 10 years.