Why did you choose a career in copywriting and how did you get into it?
Actually, I work as an all-around Italian communications professional based in Milan, so copywriting (in the sense of origination) is one of the services I offer.
I also offer transcreation (adapting a message from one language to another while keeping the style, tone, intent and context), translation, interpreting and journalism.
I love to help companies ‘become the best versions of themselves’ through their communications – that’s what encouraged me to pursue a career in this field.
My very first experience with copywriting was at a concert agency where I was working as a promotion manager. We made barter deals with radio and TV stations, which would give us media space to air promos for our tours.
I was fortunate enough to write radio and TV spots for performing artists like Niccolò Fabi or Elisa, directing voice talent Roberto Benfenati in the recording studio.
By the way, he’s currently based in London and he’s the best Italian voice-over talent you can find all over old Blighty. So check him out!
What work are you most proud of?
I’d say the tagline I wrote for Comete Gioielli, a well-known Italian jewellery brand. They’ve recently run a massive TV, print and out-of-home campaign that featured my line “C’è una stella che brilla solo per te”. It means “there’s a star that only shines for you”. I feel it really embodies the idea behind the new collection.
Comete Gioielli even installed Christmas lights with that line right in the heart of Milan, and every time I walked underneath them I felt very proud.
As for transcreation, I have many. Off the top of my head, I’d say the first ever pan-European Ryanair campaign – a series of three witty TV commercials I really enjoyed adapting into Italian a few years ago.
What piece of copy do you really wish you’d written?
This Economist ad by David Abbott. I love it so much I even bought a limited edition print, had it framed, and hung it in my office.
What do you do if you hit a bit of writer’s block?
I either go for a walk or do a menial chore. It helps clear my head.
What are your favourite and least favourite writing-related tasks?
I love writing but hate editing. Writing is like falling in love, editing is like trying to make a relationship work! As you go through your own piece over and over again, you get to a point where you’re so familiar with it that you kind of get bored.
Any copywriting pet hates?
In Italian we have a singular “you” (tu), a plural “you” (voi) and a formal “you” (Lei). I tend to use the singular “you” because I find it personal and engaging.
But I hate it when I have to use the plural “you”, or sometimes even the formal “you” when I write for Switzerland (because that’s how they seem to like it across the border). It sounds very old-fashioned and stiff to me – I just don’t like it!
What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve been given?
If you feel like you’re not learning anything new, then quit the job.
What advice would you give to people starting out on a copywriting career?
Hone your skills, know your worth, and charge accordingly.
What’s your favourite thing about being a copywriter?
Brands are like people – each one of them has their own personality, i.e. tone of voice. I love the challenge of identifying with a different brand every time, capturing the essence of what it’s all about and conveying it through words.
Why do you find ProCopywriters membership useful?
I think sharing experiences and good practices with fellow members is invaluable to growing as a professional copywriter, and our association includes experienced copywriters I really look up to. Yes, Katherine Wildman, I’m talking about you!
Where can people find out more about you?
Definitely on my website and LinkedIn.