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Nyree Hughes — ProCopywriters Member Spotlight

Why did you choose a career in copywriting and how did you get into it?

It was a complete accident, but one that was always meant to be.  I loved creative writing at school, and even entered a few competitions. Despite this, I never considered a career in writing.

However, my first job after university was in PR and writing formed a huge part of my role.  Jump forward 10 years and I finally realised this was the part of the job I enjoyed the most, so set up my own business, and here I am five years on.

What work are you most proud of?

There are actually quite a few pieces, but the reality is I’m probably most proud of my work to help change behaviour.  A recent project was on creating a tone of voice for an organisation going through some big changes.

This wasn’t a pure writing job, but project to develop a voice that represented the organisation to drive culture, community and encourage conversation both internally and externally.

As a result of this process, a flow of communication that was driven by staff for staff was developed and has resulted in employees being better informed and more engaged.

What piece of copy do you really wish you’d written?

I ❤️ New York.  Devised as a slogan/logo to promote tourism, it’s been taken on by locations across the globe. So simple, yet so effective and timeless.

What do you do if you hit a bit of writer’s block?

Step away from the screen and take a walk or just do something that takes my mind off the job in hand. Sometimes leaving it for a few hours or going back to it the next day makes a huge difference. It’s ok to admit that your head isn’t in it!

What are your favourite and least favourite writing-related tasks?

I love being given a piece of copy to edit and craft and make it sing for my client. Whether that’s some sketchy ideas for a blog or a mammoth tech-filled annual report.

As for my least favourite, it has to be a poor brief, or when there is no brief at all and I’m tasked with ‘just do what you do best’!

Top tip, we may have a way with words, but copywriters only do what we do best when we know what our client want. It can be a few bullet points on email or rough notes on a post-it, but do give me something to work with first!

Any copywriting pet hates?

A misplaced apostrophe is certainly close to the top of the list, but my all-time pet hate is lengthy text. People assume that wordiness makes them look intelligent. It doesn’t. I’m definitely in the ‘less is more’ camp.

What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve been given?

Embrace change and always be ready to take an opportunity when it presents itself. I’m a cautious soul and not one to take risks. However, I took a risk on setting up by myself and it has certainly paid off.

What advice would you give to people starting out on a copywriting career?

Read, read and more reading. Consume a variety of content it will enrich your own writing. Keep a journal or a blog and finally ask to shadow another copywriter and definitely seek out some work experience.

What’s your favourite thing about being a copywriter?

Seeing the results of my work, clients receiving enquires and positive feedback. My work rarely sits in isolation. It’s often a collaborative piece that has come about working with UX researchers and designers. Seeing the final piece together always feels like a triumph.

What made you decide to become a member of ProCopywriters?

A colleague is a member and waxed lyrical about the support and opportunities available, so I thought, why not give it a shot!

Where can people find out more about you?

My portfolio is on my website (andwords.co.uk), or hello on Twitter (@nyreehughes) or Linkedin (linkedin.com/in/nyreehughes).  I am rather shy, but will always respond.

What do you think?

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