Is a “Copywriter” right? – Copywriter myths

Or does a Copyrighter write? As a Freelance Copywriter who’s been called a lot of things in my time (I’ll save your snorts), I thought it was apt to explore our right, honourable title. And more importantly, what it means to you.

Let’s dispel (but please don’t misspell) a few Copywriter myths.

Starting with this infographic (I know, yawn), but to save my disgrace, it doesn’t technically qualify as an infographic because, well, it was created with one of those word cloud generators (yawn again – but saving disgrace #2, I was rushing to prepare a client presentation).

Where was I? Ah yes, the cheatographic which pins some of my ideas onto the definition board. The first person to spot all of my suggestions doesn’t win a prize. And whoever eyes the word ‘Plagiarist’, please prop-up your half-moons (hint: try ‘Dictionary’ as a prefix). Hang on… after adjusting my own leopard-shades, it seems the word ‘Dictionary’ has disappeared altogether. How strange. I definitely wrote it. The greedy cloud must’ve been on the gobble that day.

A trio of Copywriter truths (ah, the Copywriter’s Triangle).

1. Copywriters don’t work in licensing.

Really, we don’t. I think you’ll find that’s a Copyrighter’s role. Although, you can be forgiven for making the connection with myself, since – just to spray more mist into the haze – I used to be a Licensing Coordinator (they said I’d have scope to WRITE, puff). And who knows, I may write some copy for a licensing project in the future.

2. Copywriters hate to copy.

Riddled with irony, isn’t it? Copywriter. Loves to, let’s imagine… copy? <Cue ear-quivering fail klaxon> Yes, yes, I respect its print origins, however I fail to concurhow the Copywriter title serves justice to the conceptual nature of a Copywriter’s role.

Of course, there’ll be copycats out there who enjoy nothing more than clambering to ctrl + c, swiftly followed by ctrl + v, before repeating what everyone else chirps about for the rest of the day, but these are the sort of plagiarists you should probably avoid (just a tip).

3. A Copywriter is…?

[Please post your suggestion via the lovely comments box down there]. I’d LOVE to know what you think!

While we’re on the subject of Copywriters

(And, more importantly, to create a tidy five-layered pyramid of facts – I’m a little obsessed with triangles at the moment…)

4. Anyone can copywrite, right?

Erm, technically yes, most people can actually WRITE. But knowing how to manipulate words to make your audience perform the action you desire (without scaring them silly and scarring them for life) is a skill that takes years of experience to refine. It also helps if you’re born with an inherent passion and talent for the written word.

5. Design and copy love each other

Before we reignite the “Your copy’s too big for my button” inferno, let’s take a step back to gain some perspective. Whatever the project, whatever the medium, design and copy must selflessly pull together to deliver the complete visionary journey. The ripest design in the world can be putrified by stale copy. Conversely, the opposite is also true. That’s why it’s important copywriters and designers work together from the get-go. A sprinkling of random words shouldn’t be thrown onto the page as an afterthought, because trust me, this will show. Have respect for the full creative caboodle and you’ll harvest the rewards.

Voila. There we have another meaningful pyramid. My mission in life is (almost) complete.

The moral of the Copywriter’s tale is…

Next time you stumble across such confusion about a Copywriter’s role (the aforementioned myths seems to be rife with family members – especially around Christmas time; perhaps it’s too much mulled wine), you can point out the Copywriter’s Triangle.

About the Author: Sally Symondson

Sally Symondson

Running Salsify Creative, Sally grows local and global brands with meaningful words that relate. Customer or business – the roots are human, which is why Sally likes to keep it natural. You’ll find her muddy soled at the copywriting “allotment” with a cat in tow.


Join me on www.salsifycreative.com/blog/

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