Friday, 15 September 2017

Coach, don't commission

You’ve got communications that need writing. Do you have a go in house or pay a copywriter to write it for you? Sometimes the best solution lies in a bit of both: hiring a writer to coach your staff.


Remember the Chinese proverb “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime”?

Pretty good advice if you want to stop people pestering you for fish, but what’s that got to do with copywriting?

No train, no gain
Well, we recently worked with a large recruiter who wanted to craft the perfect 'first approach' email. That's the one they send out cold to people who don't know them. They were getting a 25% response rate. They wanted to do better.

Hiring a copywriter to write these wasn't really practical. The six consultants in the team were sending ten or so a day each: there were simply too many. So we taught them to fish.



Not every pupil gets it...

We ran a day's training in the dark art of this sort of email writing (there's more to it than meets the eye).  A mix of theory and practice ensured the techniques were understood and assimilated. Everyone took away some writing tasks for the next couple of weeks to encourage practice and the formation of new habits.

The team's response rates doubled - up to 50%.

That was specific training, for a team, on site. But often coaching can be more general. And it can be one to one and conducted by email and phone. This is ideal when you have an individual struggling with a writing project. Especially if they'll need to do more of that type of writing in the future. We've helped individuals write sales brochures and email campaigns this way.

Each medium requires particular writing techniques. Emails are different to web pages; a product brochure is different to a flyer. And then there's the communications objective and sector. Each one tends to require a distinctive approach.

So, we can design a bespoke training module that takes into account the needs of the individual, the medium and the company.

So much writing to do; so little time
Today's businesses need a lot of copy written. Some of it will be genuinely mission critical, where improvement can dramatically improve profitability.

If you're in sales, you have to produce bid documents that differentiate your company and communicate how your proposals will be effective. Retailers need product descriptions that entice customers. Agency staff need to bring concepts alive or excite colleagues with compelling briefs. Almost everyone needs a blog or a newsletter. With good training, most people's writing can be made effective.

If you need to improve the writing of a team or individual, drop us a line. Just don't ask us how to fish.


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