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                                   THE RATIONALE FOR
                               PROFESSIONAL COPYWRITING
                                                     Tighter control. It’s always                  Fact gathering. Writing about
                                                  easier to assign tough deadlines,            a product or service usually
                                                  be honestly critical, and make               requires more interviews, facts,
                                                  changes to work done outside                 and detail than does design.
                                                  than to work that was done in-               When a writer is involved early
                                                  house. There are no personal                 on and shares information, it
      he written word plays an                    sensitivities, office politics, or            eliminates the need for some
important role in communica-                      organizational bureaucracies to              designer/client meetings, saving
tions. There is nothing more                      consider.                                    both time and cost.
effective in informing, persuad-                     True objectivity. It is difficult,             Organization and outlining.
ing, and motivating. Today, as in                 if not impossible, to uncover                For most copy-heavy projects
the past and into the foreseeable                 unique characteristics and write             (brochures, annual reports, etc.)
future, effective visual communi-                 objectively about things that are            it is difficult to do good design
cation not only requires eye-                     familiar. Only an outsider will be           without first having a copy struc-
arresting design and graphics                     impartial, feel free to probe, ask           ture. An outline of the story to be
(layout), it also requires well-                  dumb questions, and play the                 told, including headlines and
crafted words (copy). Anything                    devil’s advocate—all necessary to            major breaks, makes designing
less wastes money—it provides                     the development of powerful,                 easier and enhances any layout.
only half the bang for the buck.                  persuasive copy.                                 Detail checking. By training,
   Today, new technologies and                       More relevant experience.                 writers are sensitive to different
media make the process of gen-                    It isn’t necessary to have intimate          details than designers. Having a
erating copy easier than ever. But                knowledge of a product or ser-               pair of eyes looking for bad copy
Creative Business studies show                    vice to write knowledgeably                  breaks, inappropriate captions,
that progress can come at a high                  about it. A good, smart writer can           and dropped heads reduces the
price for those not careful.                      learn more than enough in a few              possibility of embarrassing errors.
Because of the ease, and because                  meetings. Much more important
we live in a world where the                      is that an outside writer will bring         SMALL ADDITIONAL COST
emphasis is on speed and visuals,                 to a freshness and perspective to            Except for the very smallest of
many of us tend to overlook and                   an assignment that can only                  jobs, creative fees are always a
minimize the importance of well-                  come from the diverse experi-                small fraction of total costs. The
written words.                                    ence of meeting a variety of com-            incremental difference between
   Next time you’re tempted to                    munication challenges.                       having professional, outside writ-
cut costs or save time by giving                     Better results. Everyone can              ing or not will typically only
short shrift to copy development,                 write. Some can even write well.             increase costs from 5% to 10% on
consider the following.                           But few can write as well—as                 a small brochure or ad, or less
                                                  quickly and persuasively—as a                than 1% on an annual report or
BENEFITS                                          professional who makes his or                several-page Web site. And the
                                                  her living at it. Practice does,             difference between a good writer
                                                  indeed, make (close to) perfect.             and a mediocre one is even less.
An organization opting for out-
                                                  So why settle for second best on                As for a cost comparison of in-
side, professional writing help
                                                  your materials?                              house versus outside writing,
can look forward to several
                                                                                               when the true costs of internal
benefits seldom obtained when
writing is handled internally.                    BENEFITS                                     preparation—salaries, overhead,
                                                  TO GRAPHIC DESIGNERS                         lost productivity, etc.—are added
   No strain on resources.
                                                  The best materials are always                up, outside writing nearly always
Good writing is labor intensive
                                                  developed by a team—designer                 costs less, not more.
and time-consuming. There are
                                                  and writer working together in                  In summary, professional
no shortcuts. Developing copy
                                                  harmony. There are also some                 writing is an extraordinarily
internally often requires assign-
                                                  very practical working benefits in            small investment with a poten-
ing the task to an employee who
                                                  addition to the enhanced creativ-            tially big payoff in increased effi-
either gives it low priority, or
                                                  ity that ensues from such a part-            ciency and effectiveness.
whose regular work suffers in the
process.                                          nership.                                                                            CB
         ©Copyright 1992/2001 Creative Business   Reproduction permitted for individual use only.

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About Work at home. Equivalent 2 years of College. Retail employment history, and some medical assisting.Resort employment history,four grown children.two divorced, one remarried, one granddaughter.Divorced, remarried, widowed,stag.