Independent writing consultant Robert Bly cuts through all the hype surrounding promotional copywriting and `creativity', with a no-nonsense guide that covers everything.
I too am a copywriter and, for the first time, empathised almost entirely with what a fellow writer was saying.
You see, the subject matter is steeped in misunderstanding. What the aspiring writer needs to know is that almost all copywriting is about selling.
Robert Bly understands this, and communicates it well. He knows it's not about clever headlines; it's not about puns; it's not about abstract concepts. Yes, the copywriter is a salesperson - one who is paid by his clients to sell their products.
This book recognises this with a relish. It urges us to identify the USP (that which makes a product different and saleable) and to put it right up-front, to deliver simple messages that everyone can understand, and to write precisely for the intended audience.
Bly's comprehensive guide covers pr! ints ads, brochures, radio and TV commercials, direct mail and PR material. There are also chapters on getting a great job in an agency, and going freelance.
The only element with which I would take issue is Bly's somewhat dismissive attitude towards graphic design. I can think of many designers and art directors who would be hopping mad over Bly's comments about `fancy visuals' that don't add to the selling process, and about the limited value of white space. Surely someone who has worked so much with designers knows about their contribution to the `pickupability' of advertising material? A minor quibble, but a valid one.