Category Archives: thinking out loud

Give as good as you get…

..or to put it another way, you’ll get as good as you give. When it comes to hiring a copywriter – or any other professional for that matter – a good brief is vital. Here are some things you should take into account when building a brief for a copywriter.

Building a better copywriting brief

Copywriters aren’t clairvoyants. They may get a sense of what you want when they speak to you but their interpretation of your needs may not be accurate. That’s why you need a good brief. It’s also why your copywriting will only be as good as the brief. So what makes a good brief? There are several things that you should include:

  • Market research – if you’ve got it. The copywriter needs to know for whom she, or he, is writing. What are the demographics of your target audience?
  • What are the features and benefits of your products or services? (For more on this see my free article From feature to benefit)
  • What is your unique selling point (also known as a USP)? In other words why should people buy your product rather than someone else’s?
  • What is the tone of the communication you are planning? Professional, funky, techy etc.
  • Do you want it written from scratch or do you have a draft you want the copywriter to work from?
  • Do you already have a design in mind? If so what are the word and layout limitations the copywriter must work to?
  • Are there any existing promotional materials that the copywriter should see? This is particularly important if you want the new work to fit in with previous material.

This list isn’t exhaustive and every project is different but it should give you a feel for what you need to get started with your copywriter.


I’m no economist but…

As I said, I’m no economist so there may be a very good reason why this wouldn’t work but I have a suggestion to make to Prime Minister Rudd and Treasurer Swan…

Why not cut petrol excise/tax instead of giving income tax cuts?

Everyone keeps saying how income tax cuts are inflationary; they also tell us that inflation is being fuelled (forgive the pun) by petrol prices which result in increased food prices, increased travel costs etc., etc. So why not cut the taxes on petrol instead of on income? That will make everyone’s money go further without resulting in higher prices which will push up inflation. And if inflation is held in check then interest rates won’t need to be increased.

Is there a good reason why this wouldn’t work?

I’m really interested to know if there is a reason this can’t be done or if someone thinks there is a reason why it wouldn’t work. I maybe naive but I can’t think of one

Word walking – thinking out loud one word at a time

I was just thinking about creativity and how people foster it, encourage it etc., etc. And how in this instantaneous communication age ideas travel at the speed of light. And then I remembered the joke.

How fast can joke travel?

Years ago when I was at uni I made up a joke. It’s so long ago I can’t even remember it now but it had some very specific elements to it. I told the joke to some friends at a dinner party and then forgot all about it. I moved to Australia and about 2 years later someone in Australia told me my own joke! I was staggered. I remember it was the same in all the specifics so it was unlikely someone else had come up with the same ideas – not impossible of course, but unlikely. And I wondered about all the steps it had passed through to travel 13,000 miles and 2 years to come back to me like the proverbial boomerang. Wouldn’t be a bad device for a story. Maybe I’ll get round to it one day…

What about today?

If it took the joke two years all those years ago how much quicker now with instant messengers, voip, email and blogs? Does anyone know? Has anyone tried it? If I become super creative and think up one I’ll try it out and let you know.