Copywriter_banner© Alejandro Escamilla

Copywriter

Industries:
Advertising and Marketing Communications
Personality type:
Creative
Departments:
Advertising

The Lowdown

  • Creating and developing advertising ideas, particularly the written text
  • Working alongside an art director, usually in a creative partnership
  • Understanding the needs of the client, and how to create something imaginative out of the brief

Is this role right for me?

In this role you will need to:

  • Be imaginative and full of ideas
  • Be able to distinguish between a central, core idea and the executional possibilities it gives rise to
  • Have a passion for good writing
  • Be able to write clear, accurate and persuasive copy that can engage different audiences
  • Be fascinated by people, advertising and brands
  • Be able to apply creative thinking to business problems
  • Have great communication skills that allow you to sell ideas in an inspirational way
  • Be a team player, who can operate effectively under pressure and to tight deadlines
  • Have tenacity and resilience through the frustrations of an iterative process
  • Understand the context that lies behind a client’s business and communications need, and the key proposition and creative brief that is provided as the basis for their work
  • Understand the target audience and proposed media to be used in the campaign
  • Devise and develop original advertising and communications ideas that engage the target audience and address the client’s business problem
  • Present ideas to the creative director for approval and development, and writing copy through several stages of concepts and executions
  • Respond to client and research feedback while developing the work until final approval stage
  • In smaller agencies, work alongside an art director to select all photographers, illustrators, TV production companies and directors, models and cast involved in the creative production
  • Oversee the production of creative outputs e.g. print advertisements, TV commercials, mailings and social media content

What does a Copywriter do?

Copywriters are responsible for the creation and development of advertising ideas, with particular focus on the written words (copy) within these. This copy can be anything from headlines and body copy for print advertising, to TV commercial scripts, direct marketing leaflets, mobile applications and websites. Their imagination and flair for writing allows them to create persuasive, engaging copy that helps to solve genuine business problems for their agency’s clients.

There has been a recent blurring of lines between the responsibilities of a Copywriter and an Art Director, particularly in interactive media, where both involve themselves in the creative idea and are known as the Creative Team. Because of this, Copywriters can sometimes be referred to as “Creative”, though they can also be referred to as “Writer”.

Will I need a qualification?

While a degree isn’t required, most new copywriters and applicants will hold a degree in English, Creative Writing, Advertising or similar. Applicants would need to show they are creative and possess talented writing ability.

It is also possible to get an Apprenticeship in Copywriting.

What’s the best route in?

Copywriters come from a variety of backgrounds, although many will typically have a degree in a relevant subject such as creative advertising, or English. Those studying on dedicated advertising courses, including vocational post-graduate courses, will often form partnerships with an Art Director while studying. They will then look for a first job as a team with many post-graduate courses offering placements within the programme of study. This is done by developing a ‘book’, or portfolio, of work to show creative directors at networking events and interviews.

Where might the role take me?

As Copywriters become more senior, working on bigger and more important briefs within the agency, they can be referred to as ‘middleweight’ or ‘heavyweight’ creatives, with some going on to become Creative Directors in their own right. In larger agencies a stepping stone to becoming creative director is the role of group creative director, overseeing a handful of creative teams rather than the entire creative department. Others may prefer to ply their writing skills independently as freelancers, working across a number of agencies and clients.

Interested? Find out more…

For more information on job roles in the creative industries, take a look at Hiive's job roles.  

Websites

Publications

  • Campaign Magazine is the leading weekly magazine for the advertising, media and communications industry
  • The Drum Magazine aims to introduce those with great ideas to those who are seeking them in the advertising industry
  • Design Week is a journal of design trends and inspiration

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