An Introduction to copywriting
HMAwards 2019

An Introduction to copywriting

As part of our commitment to help local schools and encourage the next generation of marketing professionals, we offer work experience opportunities to students. 16-year-old Lucy Barter was one such student, who spent time with us recently at our offices in Harpenden.

Before I visited LAW Creative, the term ‘Copywriting’ meant pretty much nothing to me. Having never investigated the multifaceted world of marketing very deeply, I assumed that the writing I would be doing would be similar to that which I had encountered over my time in school. After many years of writing essay after essay, I felt pretty confident in my writing ability… after all, how different could writing and Copywriting really be?

As it turns out, very.

The first glimpse I got of copywriting was all about being precise but packing a lot of meaning and ideas and condensing them down to something memorable or meaningful. This was a very alien concept to me, having spent most of the last two years writing 2,000-3,000 word essays. Concise writing is not really taught in school, but I believe it could be really beneficial, as after just a few days observing and attempting to copy the copywriters, I felt like it’s a skill I could transfer into my writing in the classroom.

Another new experience for me was the process of developing ideas, which is more creative and conceptual than any writing I’ve seen or done before. I discovered this was a very useful way to get all your thoughts out of your head before you start sifting through them, which, in turn, means you can’t forget them (something I regularly do) and that you then have all the ‘materials’ you’re working with right there, ready to be moulded and shaped.

Possibly the greatest difference between copywriting and writing at school is how much background information you have before you start writing. At school, I write about books I’ve been learning about for almost nine months. I know them cover to cover, as well as their context and background information. Whereas, when it comes to copywriting, I am trying to write headers for summer beauty treatments for a healthcare organisation or a blog on good customer service for a company that designs brake pads for cars. Unsurprisingly, none of these topics were in my repertoire, but it shows you don’t need to have months or years of planning and experience before you can write about something. What you do need, is to research information and explore a topic prior to writing about it, engaging creatively with the idea to make your writing both informative and interesting.

Overall, my experience of copywriting has given me a fresh perspective of what writing can be. It really highlighted the fact that the creative and imaginative side of writing isn’t covered at school in as much detail as more academic written styles – especially the higher up the school you get.

My week at LAW Creative has really inspired me to want to try new writing styles and be more creative in how I write, both in school and at home. And what could be a better outcome for my week of work experience?

To find out more about the kind of brilliant, award-winning copywriting (and thinking) we can do at LAW Creative, contact our Head of Copy, David Hankinson, at david.hankinson@lawcreative.co.uk