There is a trend in this age of zero hours and minimum wage to take on graduates who are desperate for a first job and give them work that is well beyond their capabilities. The inevitable result is that the quality of work produced will not be to the standard that the employer is wanting and disagreements, disappointment and disillusionment will follow.
Of course, at Changeworks we value our staff and recognise where their strengths lie. We know how counterproductive it is to ask someone who has a degree in philosophy to write a 1000-word article on sheetmetal cutting and then a 250-word press release on a new piece of software.
These poor people may have produced a superb dissertation and written some great pieces but they almost certainly were not having to generate this material by the following morning and get it past the approval procedures of client, client’s marketing department, client’s customer and, finally, an Editor with years and years of experience being bombarded with material that claims to be of interest to their readership but very often is not.
Writing copy for press releases, websites, promotional flyers, social media outlets, technical articles or thought leadership ‘voice of authority’ pieces is a million miles away from other forms of writing and one of the biggest mistakes that companies make is to operate on the basis that “writing is writing; anyone can do it”.
And there is another problem. The so-called ‘Generation Y’ – those people born in the 1980s and 1990s – very often do not have a sound grasp of English grammar and spelling. This is not their fault, of course, but that of the education system at the time, but it is heart-breaking to see university graduates go on to Google to check how many ‘o’s there are in ‘lose’ or to announce their amazement that complimentary and complementary are two completely different words.
So here are our top five tips for making sure your copywriters are the kind that enhance your company’s reputation, not damage it, and that make your life easier and not more difficult:
- Don’t give the job of copywriting to just any member of staff with time on their hands. Check that they understand the purpose of good copywriting and why having high standards is essential
- Make sure your copywriters have a good command of the English language. If you get a covering letter that starts with “I am writting” then don’t bother taking the application any further
- Value your writers. If you pay them minimum wage on zero hours do not be surprised if the quality of the work they produce reflects the low value that you appear to put on them
- Give your copywriters as much training and support as you can afford, it will pay off in the long run while keeping them and your customers happy
- Impress upon your writers that how they perform is crucial to you retaining your clients and getting more work. Nothing spreads faster than the word of a disgruntled customer.
To find out more about good copywriting and how it can help your business, please contact us on 01785 247588 or click here.