Do you see yourself as a copywriter, a writer or a journalist? It’s one that I’ve struggled with over the years as I’ve moved from magazines to websites, blogs, email marketing and just about any kind of writing you can imagine.
And judging by the debate that followed the DMA’s screening of Madmen v Mavens at the launch of its Campaign for great British copywriting last month, I’m not alone.
The world of copywriting is in transition. We’re seeing journalists move into branded content and content marketing, while wordsmiths (professionals and amateurs) have made social media their playground.
So why does the most awarded copywriter in Britain Tony Brignull say that “copywriting is dead”? Today’s copywriters don’t have the luxury to spend weeks to come up with the killer slogan that’s going to run and run. Copywriting is everywhere and we’re expected to fill web pages, emails, brochures and social media sites with killer content, within ever-shrinking time frames. It’s a big ask.
We’re also seeing a lot more client involvement in the creative process and that’s not always a good thing. Like the time when I was working on a customer magazine and the client insisted we use a cover image for a 300-word story towards the back of the issue. Coming up for cover lines was, shall we say, a challenge!
And yet, copywriters today have got a chance to shine in more places than ever but only if they’re given the time to hone their craft and have fun with words. That’s when the magic happens.
But enough about me and what I think of copywriting. It’s over to you as a copywriter to tell us what you thinks by taking the Copywriter’s Census. You have a few weeks to get involved as the census closes on 12 December. You can also join fellow copywriters on Twitter on #DMAwriting and share your views about what’s good (and bad) in our industry today.