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Telling a Compelling Story as a Copywriter Copywriters like you have the unique task of telling a compelling story for a specific purpose. Many times you are asked to write a blog, website, advertisement or other document that is visible to the public. A topic and reason are given, but other than that, you’re left to figure out how to write the best copy for your audience. That means every other detail needs to be thought up and mapped out in a way that works best for what that document is intended to do. For the purpose of this article, you are asked to examine the following request: Please write a press release for a Company A’s new set of AA batteries. They perform longer than any other AA battery on the market and are experiencing their grand opening on the third of next month. Pretend for the moment that that’s all you get. You are welcome to reference the company for more information but you’re going to need some direction on how to tell the story before you ask them about anything specific. Writing This is one good way to look at it so you can direct the information given to you into a simple, concise and useful document for the company. First, look at type of document you are writing: it’s a press release. Ask yourself what you know about press releases. If you’ve ever seen one, you know they are simple, direct and concise. They offer you the news in fact form and leave out much of the fluff. This means that it starts out with the title of the news: in this case you would write something to the effect of “Company A Found the Secret to Efficiency in AA Batteries.” Next, you list the simple “Who, what, where, and when.” Briefly describe who the company is and how customers would know them, what it is, where they will be released to, and when customers can expect to see them there. This “what” is not meant to go into full detail about the product. That information will be provided in the paragraphs that follow. This “what” is meant to make the promise you received in the instructions, “Company A is announcing the release of more efficient AA batteries that will outlast all others.” Then move on. Continue on to the where they can be purchased and when consumers can expect to see them. Label them as the questions with colons following and separate each sentence by a single tap of the enter key. Once those are down, you’re going to want to start a new paragraph. That and subsequent paragraphs are going to be listing that same information in paragraph form, only now you add the compelling reasons. This is where you want to tell the facts behind your claim that these are the longest lasting AA batteries out there. Tell the audience why the company decided to make these better batteries and then tell them about any tests the company performed to prove that they worked. To the Point These details will have to be provided by the company, but they should be easily attainable. Site statistics that are relevant and useful for the general public. If there is a bit of jargon that has to be included, explain what it means briefly and move on. Remember all the while that the purpose of a press release is to give the press the news as abbreviated as possible. Don’t use three words when you can get away with just two. They’re looking for a catching headline with real facts behind it, not a fluffed up marketing email. They receive hundreds of these things. Yours is one in a million to them, but if you can present a catchy headline and a useful product in a brief, but informative manner, they are more likely to do something about your press release as opposed to toss it in the trash. This is just one example of a piece of copywriting you might be asked to write. The keys to writing a compelling document are illustrated here. First, understand what your audience is looking for. If they’re looking for facts, give them facts. If they’re looking for fluff and action verbs to get them to buy, then give them those. The best writing doesn’t have to be the most eloquent; they just have to tell the best story in the way the audience wants to hear it. You can figure out what your audience wants by spending the time to get to know them a little bit better. Stevens Henager College offers you the opportunity to learn to be a better copywriter. They offer courses to give you the copywriting education you need to become a professional in the field. Find out how they can help you further you copywriting education and improve your writing today.
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