All in a Day's Work: Meet the Copywriter

Written by

Erik Schmidt
A copywriter’s timesheet, according to the rest of the agency:
  •     Leave to get hipster coffee unreasonably far away from office (.5 hour)
  •     Screw around on smartphone, but with serious look on face (.75 hour)
  •     Refill coffee in office, bitch about its quality (.25 hour)
  •     Take cleansing walk whilst Googling British terms to start using needlessly (.5 hour)
  •     Lunch/nap (2.0 hours)
  •     Write three carefully punctuated emails, review twice before sending (.75 hour)
  •     Switch from coffee to scotch, discuss scotch (.5 hour)
  •     Write frantically to meet deadline (1.75 hours)
  •     Complain about tiredness (.25 hour)
  •     Leave early for “personal appointment” at Nordstrom Rack (1.0 hour)

We can but dream.

Copywriters will tell you that content is meaning, and we take that idea seriously. We take our words seriously because the words always matter – even if there are just three of them on the page. Although the only software we require is Microsoft Word and a web browser (for, eh, research), we will resist being characterized as simple. We will defend our role as thinkers and the creators of customer motivation.

Speaking of which, we’re thrilled that so much of marketing these days revolves around storytelling. It’s about damn time. Content marketing makes our hearts feel warm. We love to look inside a company’s soul, past the buzzwords and jargony nonsense on the surface, to discern what really makes the organization tick. What its narrative is. What its journey is. Because customers want a journey, not another piece of software.

We don’t mind being corrected or edited, and our emotional skin isn’t as thin as you might think. We also don’t mind that writing is one of those things that everyone thinks they can do. You know the joke: People are unafraid to say, “You know, I think I’ll write a novel,” but nobody ever says, “You know, I think I’ll do a little air traffic controlling.” That’s just the way it is. And if the idea of writing thrills someone who’s never really practiced it, that’s a great thing. We’ll help. We love the democracy of our trade.

Above all, we’re convinced that writing is special, just like the other things that happen at an agency. We love the pursuit, the craft, and the payoffs of excellent copy. This is an honest-to-god vocation, and the user experience (UX) and visual design are made better when they’re accompanied by great words – just like how the words are made better by others’ outstanding work. We love the symbiosis.

Now, scotch.