Keeping the art of pursuasive writing alive.
Well, it's that time of year again, when writers young and old turn their hand to persuasive writing. Of course some people are using this skill everyday. SEO content and copywriters spend hours writing to persuade website visitors to become new and loyal customers. Some are incredibly good at it, others are particularly shoddy. However, at least there are people writing with gusto and enthusiasm. Sadly, for the rest of society, who never have to write a letter or memo, this enthusiasm for writing is often absent.
Children sit in classrooms trying to avoid writing at all costs; it is surprising how many trips to the loo, or times you need to sharpen a pencil, can occur in half an hour. But this reluctance to write seems to be forgotten about when they hear the words, " time to write your letter to Santa". Then it would seem there are no holds barred. Out come the gel pens and illustrations. Some young writers put the early monastic illumated manuscripts to shame with the amount of 'bling' they manage to cram on the page. This is good and encouraging as a writer to see. This shows that people know the potential impact their prose ( or early attempts at marketing) can have on the intended audience. For some, this skill remains with into adulthood.
This is something a friend of mine recently posted as a letter to Santa on her facebook page. This is a perfect example of how the childhood protocol of writing to Santa remains in our psyche well into adulthood.
As a piece of persuasive writing, which is exactly what SEO copywriting is, this ticks all the boxes;
These are important criteria for writing persuasive copy.There is no ambiguity as to the purpose of this writing. I have no doubt the elves are onto this request as I write.
A letter to Santa may be the only writing some kids do for pleasure, which in itself is a shame. However, a letter to Santa is a fantastic early steeping stone to writing persuasively. It becomes an instinct to understand the writing template necessary to acheive satisfaction from the intented audience. As writers mature, this skill can be finely tuned to empower the writer to become a master, or mistress, of persuasion.
Poor grammar, portmanteau or just evolution?
This is just something I can't get my head round. When you search on-line (or should that be online or on line?) there is just no consistency in how words seem to be formed. I find this an awkward position to be in as a Copywriter / Copy Writer. You see in theory, copywriter should be two words, copy and writer. Let me explain. A writer of fiction is a fiction writer, a writer of crime stories is a crime writer, a person that teaches in a school is a school teacher. Then the waters get muddied by other occupations such as hairdresser, bricklayer and barmaid. All of these occupations were once separate words. So shouldn't a writer of copy be a Copy Writer?
There is a definite split in the on-line community. This is a nightmare for the purposes of SEO content and copywriting / copy writing; by using different conventions you are faced with how to ensure both versions get picked up by the search engines. If you use both versions in one text it becomes confusing for the reader as the piece lacks consistency and quality, if you only use one version you are potentially missing out on all the potential clients who are searching for the other version. How has this happened?
I think there are three possible reasons for this;
What a job opportunity for the right copy-writer.
Oh how I wish I had seen the job advert sooner, (although I wouldn't have applied for it if I had).
The Conservative party have been looking for a dynamic copy writer to drive forward their election campaign in preparation for the 2015 General Election.
On occasion, as a copy and content writer, it is difficult to sound enthusiastic about a product. However, once you discover the features and benefits of your product or service there is always much to be said so potential clients know just how fabulous you, and your services, are. But this job would be one tall order indeed.
Just imagine sitting down at your workspace to write a slogan for the billboards, enthusiasm mounting inside. As you lift your laptop lid, or pen if you are 'old school' , this is your big break- years of writing copy and content so that your writing career arrived at this moment.The eyes of all political commentators, politicians, the electorate and global media giants were going to see your writing. The future of the country for the next 4 years could be right there at your finger tips. The reality is probably that your work will be best received by the local nocturnal spray-paint political commentators. This will certainly get your writing seen. The first commuters of the day will have a little chortle to themselves as they sit in the morning rush hour traffic, it may get a mention on the local news- not directly of course. There will be a strategically placed reporter doing their piece to camera with the poster as a backdrop. If it is really clever and insightful graffiti, it may go viral and be bestowed with thousands of 'shares' on social network and media sites.
Writing for the manifesto would be an arduous task. How can you make the experiences of many over the last few years sound like a promising template for the future? That would take some creative copy writing to say the least. As the vision for Britain's future took shape on the page, the statistics possibly 'proving' we have never had it so good? What on earth could you write, what could you say? If I were writing it, I would start with a list of positives that would make the discerning British public vote conservative.
The copy writer position advertised also mentioned writing scripts for the party political broadcasts- that part of the job description does sound interesting. The tone of voice used within the brand marketing of the conservative party is very distinctive- regional with a twang of RP. (You know, the voice no one really sounds like) But as the copy writer, you could change Dave into Charles Montgomery Burns,although I think that may have been done already. Or the copy writer could write so creatively that the 'happy family' in the party political broadcasts say 'inappropriate' things when you play the film backwards. That is my favourite idea. I wish I had applied now after all.