the write stuff

If you’re reading this, chances are you can write. Right?

Well, yes and no.

Ask 100 adults if they can sing, 90-plus will say no. Ask 100 little children if they can sing, 90-plus will say yes. Reason is, adults understand the difference between singing, and singing well. Why is this logic then not applied to writing?

Of course, you can write. But can you write well? Because people are able to help their kids with school essays, know the difference between a pronoun and a preposition, or believe that starting a sentence with ‘because’ is wrong, doesn’t qualify them as good writers.

Good writers love words, understand the power of words and, with experience, learn to share words in ways that others love, too.

Professional copywriters are such writers. They relish a challenge. Besides traditional media – TV, radio, print, etc. – they face a morass of ever-changing, social communication channels that populate our modern lives, that keeps us fixated on the small screens occupying the palms of our hands.

Theirs is a multi-skilled discipline. They write print ads, leaflets, catalogues and billboards, as well as TV and radio commercials. They do so with a keen understanding of the language and tonality that attracts, arrests and sometimes, depending on the client and the message, even shocks! They empathise with the language and brevity of posts required by Facebook, Instagram, Twitter plus other emerging social media channels. They understand how important SEO requirements are to websites, and write accordingly.

A good copywriter is comfortable writing for:

TV and radio

TV scripts require copywriters to write visually. Their scripts must let clients ‘see’ and approve the commercial before any ‘lights, camera, action!’ Radio is sometimes referred to as the ‘theatre of the mind’. It is. The writer’s job, using only sound, is to evoke all the listener’s senses.

Print and outdoor media

David Ogilvy once said, ‘five times as many people read headlines as read body copy.’ Good writers get to the point. Quickly. In a language and tone of voice that resonates with the target audience.


A good copywriter has the ability to write PR articles with objectivity and grasp of newsworthiness that appeals to newspaper and radio subeditors. In other words, credible articles that get published.

Social media

Digital skills are essential. Yes, there are timeless, across-channel rules that apply, e.g.

  • Research the target audience
  • Speak their language, but don’t lose the brand voice
  • Complement words with visuals
  • Include a call to action
  • Etc.

But there are also new rules. Like optimising content so that it drives traffic to your client’s website, landing page or blog. Copywriters must stay current with digital technology, including rapidly changing Google algorithms. If they don’t, they won’t know which SEO techniques work best.

The copywriters at Power of 9 approach every assignment with the same sense of purpose and create something ever-new, ever-effective and ever-compelling … the write stuff.

So, next time someone asks you if you can write, what will you answer?