Inside A Writer’s Mind
An interview with Lesley Morrissey, Inside News, by Jackie Barrie, Copywriter, Trainer & Author at Comms Plus
Q. What’s your definition of copywriting?
Writing to persuade people to take action.
Q. How does business / marketing writing differ from academic / other writing?
Writing to persuade, writing to inform, writing to entertain, writing to analyse — they’re all different disciplines. Good basic skills in grammar, spelling and punctuation are not enough on their own. Business and marketing content are generally focused on what the reader wants and aims to get action to take place.
Q. How did you get into copywriting?
I wrote features for local and...
...international publications when I was living in Dubai and then got a job with Dubai Duty Free because I could write. They wanted someone to write marketing material — as well as my other administrative role. When I came back to England I ‘accidentally’ ended up working on Ford Motor Company’s newsletters and the commercial copywriting practice was born.
Q. How would a total rookie get a start in the business?
I hesitate to make suggestions as I have quite strong opinions about the quality of work of some ‘professional’ copywriters! A good place to start is to take a look at copy that has already been written and check if it:
- Engages the reader quickly
- Is focused on the reader
- Has clear benefits to the reader
- Is easy to understand
- Is short and to the point
- Has a call to action
- Practise writing clear, concise content and either find a mentor to provide feedback and coaching or work with someone else on a contract basis.
Q. What are the biggest changes you’ve seen in your career?
Social media — people are so much more connected and write messages that are instantly visible to many thousands of people.
Q. What’s your copywriting methodology?
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