Copywriter Profile: Doug Jenner Of Best Words
Interview with Doug Jenner of Best Words, by Jackie Barrie, Copywriter, Trainer & Author at Comms Plus
Q. What makes a good brief?
Coherent client branding, detailed knowledge of target audience, shared understanding of purpose and messages to be communicated. Plenty of background material and a good communication channel with the client. That’s what makes a good brief. And one day I’ll get one!
Q. What comes first, copy or design?
The copywriter’s concepts and ideas must always lead the creative process. Another way of looking at it — the ‘what’ must come before the ‘how’.
Q. What’s your copywriting methodology?
Information-gathering first, asking the key questions:...
...What does the client want to do? Who are the people we’re speaking to, and what’s likely to make them respond?
The assimilation process follows, and this kind of merges into the writing process.
I liken my wordsmithing to blacksmithing. The muscular effort is mental, as I push, cajole, and bash red-hot words before shoving them in a bucket to cool off, while I cool off.
Then I come back and re-work until the piece is finished. Interestingly, I find it impossible to complete a piece in one sitting. There’s a moment at the end when you just know it’s just right, and that can come suddenly.
Q. Noise or quiet when you work?
Perhaps some music during the ‘assimilation of knowledge’ process, but once I’m into the ‘nitty-gritty’ word-smithery bit, it MUST be absolute silence. And woe betide any poor unsuspecting unfortunate who distracts me.
Q. How do you beat writer’s block?
I find I can’t just push through it. If I try that, I usually get distracted and things become worse. Get thee behind me, Facebook.
I prefer to change scenarios by going out or just going for a walk and a think.
When I come back I look at the piece and... continued on page two >